Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Chris Wondolowski has outscored Chivas USA
By four goals.
One more, and the San Jose Earthquakes striker will equal a prized record that
has stood since the inaugural season of MLS in 1996.
Two more, and a late-bloomer nicknamed "Wondo" will stand alone as the single-
season goal-scoring leader.
Not bad, especially for a 29-year-old who scored just seven goals in his first
53 matches over his first five professional seasons.
With 26 goals in tow, one less than Roy Lassiter had for the now defunct Tampa
Bay Mutiny 16 seasons ago, Wondolowski visits the Portland Timbers on Saturday
for his last game of the regular season.
Although goals are a rare commodity in the sport, a quick glance at Chivas USA
and its average of 0.64 goals per game this season proves that, Wondolowski is
on run unseen in the history of the league.
Since the start of the 2010 season, Wondolowski has 60 goals - a league record
over a three-year span - in 89 games. He scored 18 in 2010, 16 in 2011 and has
one game left to add to his haul this season.
Lassiter was roaming the sideline last week when Wondolowski notched his most
recent goal in a 2-2 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
"I don't think too much about the record, but it was special to see Roy,"
"It's an honor for me to be within one goal of sharing this record with him."
Wondolowski might act like a selfish child this week, because sharing the mark
might not be in his plans.
Six times this season, Wondolowski has scored at least two goals in one match.
Two of those have come over the last five matches. The most notable, two goals
in mid-September against the Timbers.
That was in just 32 minutes off the bench.
Now, it would be foolish to expect six over 90 minutes. Even from Wondolowski.
But two more, with nothing left to play for but the scoring record, is not all
Wondolowski insists he will not be focused on the record this weekend.
"My mind frame going into Portland will remain the same, which is to perform
my best for my team and work for a win," he said.
Even if Wondolowski manages to put the record in the back of his mind, it will
be hard to believe his teammates will do the same. With the best record in MLS
wrapped up, the one goal will be to get Wondo his goals.
Earlier this year, Wondolowski said during practice for the MLS All-Star Game
that the scoring mark has "been a record for 16 years for a reason. It's going
to be tough one to break."
Wondolowski has already overcome the odds, emerging from nowhere to become one
of the most prolific scorers MLS has ever seen. He has played eight matches on
the international level for the United States, and received praise from one of
the top defenders in the world earlier this season.
Praised by John Terry, captain of European champion Chelsea, at the end of the
first half of the MLS All-Star Game, Wondolowski described his first-half goal
in the 3-2 win for the MLS as one of the best memories of his career.
"It was a great moment. It's something that I'll always carry with me. My kids
and grandkids can look forward to hearing that story a few times," Wondolowski
said. "I was extremely happy to put that one in."
Just imagine the stories he will be able to tell if he puts another one in the
net this weekend.
And two? Well, in that case, he will not be the only one telling stories.
The Sports Network