Thierry Henry, David Beckham, Landon Donovan have the names that will dominate conversation tonight from Major League Soccer’s side as the All-Stars do their thing against European champion Chelsea. (Coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2)
Chris Wondolowski? He’s one of the All-Stars of lesser brilliance in the greater cultural stratosphere. Soccer fans know all about the San Jose Earthquakes prolific scorer, but the general public may stare past the man known as “Wonder Wondo” as they tune in tonight.
It takes an extended run with the national team or a move overseas to a fancy, name brand league to jump the divide in Q Score.
Or, perhaps it could happen for a man who sets the long-standing single season scoring record; Wondolowski may just be the fellow to do it.
He stands on 17 goals, easily best in MLS. His Earthquakes have 12 games remaining. Wondolowski’s current rate of scoring (just less than a goal a game) puts him squarely into the Roy Lassiter territory.
Lassiter hit 27 goals for the Tampa Bay Mutiny in the league’s debut season, 1996. (A very different league, by the way, with nothing close to the quality seen now.) So, on the back side of tonight’s All-Star activities at PPL Park, expect to hear about the chase weekly.
Wondolowski has a fantastic team around him, a confident unit capable of winning in a variety of styles. That’s going to help. I asked him yesterday if it would take a big game, a hat trick hit, perhaps, in order to make a big push for the mark?
“I don’t score that many hat tricks,” he said with a laugh. “I’m just hoping for a brace [two goals] here and there.”
How the single-season scoring list looks today: