Chris Wondolowski’s first match as a newly anointed Designated Player, only the fourth U.S. man ever to gain Major League Soccer’s high-salary tag, could not have gone much worse.
The league’s scoring leader last year, with a record-matching 27 goals, missed several chances as the Earthquakes lost at home to Real Salt Lake. That’s hardly the way the reigning Supporters Shield winners envisioned the next campaign getting started. And it’s certainly not way “Wonder Wondo” wanted to launch his DP days.
But the leading goal-banger of Buck Shaw will be fine. He’s got 33 matches ahead (although likely Gold Cup duty will probably pull Wondolowski away for some summer matches.)
Goal scoring is not the only reason to like Wondolowski. The league’s reigning MVP has always worked hard and he doesn’t make waves. Plus, clearly, he’s OK taking responsibility.
A little unlucky, but pretty bad finishing by me. Horrible finishing by me. I had four clear looks and didn’t make Rimando make a save. … If I score those in the first half, it puts the game away. We’re cruising in the second half and have three points in our pocket.”