The U.S. began their World Cup year with a 2-0 win in a friendly against South Korea, another team headed to Brazil this summer. Both goals were scored by San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski, who has made the most of a typo on his shirt last summer to become a goal threat that the United States might need when they attempt to endure the group of death.
The 31-year-old made his presence known at the international level when he scored a hat trick against Belize in the 2013 Gold Cup. And he did it with his name spelled "Wondowlowski" (note the extra "w") on the back of his shirt. Since it worked out well for him, Wondolowski had the team's kitman add an extra "w" inside his shirt for the next match and he ended up scoring twice more against Cuba as the U.S. went on to win the tournament. Not one to question a good thing, Wondolowski has had the extra "w" added to the inside of all his national team shirts ever since and against South Korea, it paid off again with two more goals, bringing his total to seven in his last eight international appearances.
The USA was playing without their top Europe based players, so those hoping to make their case for a spot on the World Cup roster had a chance to prove themselves. Wondolowski certainly helped his cause by showing once again that he can be in the right place at the right time and finish his chances, but he remains something of a long shot to be on the plane. Then again, with the likes of Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore struggling to score with their respective clubs, a guy racking up the goals could be useful to have on the bench.
With a little less than six months to go before the big event, there are still a few peaks and valleys to come before manager Jurgen Klinsmann makes his final roster decisions. A match like this against another World Cup qualifier (albeit one ranked just 53rd in the world by FIFA) will only serve as a positive for the likes of Wondo and Graham Zusi, who set up both goals, and the defenders who were able to keep a clean sheet, though.
At the very least, Wondolowski and his extra "w" remain in the conversation. Maybe if a few of his teammates add extra letters to their shirts it will help their chances this summer.
- Sports & Recreation
- Chris Wondolowski
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