2021 - Wondo POTW

SAN JOSE, Calif. – San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski has been named the MLS Player of the Week for Week 4 of the 2021 season. It marked the 11th MLS Player of the Week honor of his career, fourth most in league history. San Jose has now had a player receive the award in two straight weeks, and three times in the last seven weeks dating back to 2020.

Wondolowski, 38, entered last Friday’s match against Real Salt Lake as a substitute in the 72nd minute and proceeded to score two goals to lift San Jose to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory (highlights). It marked Wondolowski’s 25th career multi-goal game, second most in MLS history (Landon Donovan – 32). 

San Jose had its youngest field player win the award in Week 3 (Cade Cowell, 17) and now has its eldest player win the award in Week 4. The last team to have two different players win the award in consecutive weeks was LAFC in 2019 (Carlos Vela – Week 5; Diego Rossi – Week 6). 

The Earthquakes have now won three consecutive matches and currently sit in second place in the Supporters’ Shield standings for best regular season record in Major League Soccer. Wondolowski now has 168 career goals, 23 more than any other player in MLS history.

The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.

On Chris Wondolowski’s brace:

“I just thanked him as I did with the whole group. They are really covering a part in my life where they are bringing me happiness. My family celebrates every goal as if I were playing, and they are filling a difficult moment that I am experiencing with that devotion and willingness. Everyone contributes their grain of sand and I am always grateful and proud of them. Chris [Wondolowski] gets ready every day with the belief that he can keep scoring. He supports whoever is playing and gives everything when he is called up. He deserves to score these goals because he is our legend that continues to score.”

On having a strong performance after missing last match to suspension:

“It was monumental for me. The first two weeks, I probably had the two worst plays of my career back-to-back. I can’t be thankful enough for the teammates that I have that picked me up and also the coaching staff. I say Matias, and a lot of it is Matias, but it’s his coaching staff as well with Omar [Zarif] and Guido [Bonini]. Those guys really help propel me and I wanted to repay them. They’ve been the wind behind my back, and I needed them these last couple weeks but I’m proud of this group, proud to be a part of it.” 

On the team being a family and lifting up Matias after the passing of his father:

“Absolutely. It’s cliché to say but we believe down to our core that we are a family. I believe it’s family over biology sometimes. You don’t need blood to be a family. We have it. Just like how our whole team and staff picked me up, we try to pick Matias up as well. We know that you can’t bring your 100% every day and that’s why a family will always have each other’s back. We’re brothers. We always battle on the field, fight. When we get to the locker room, we’re going to hug each other, have each other’s back, and we’re going to fight tooth and nail for every inch.”