Up until eight days ago, Chris Wondolowski, who matched the MLS record for most goals in a single season with 27 last year, had never scored for the U.S. national team. In his 10th international appearance over two years, he finally broke his duck during a friendly against Guatemala just before the start of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. And yet that still wasn't enough for the United States' kitman to spell his name correctly on the back of his shirt. So for the USA's first Gold Cup group-stage match against Belize, Wondolowski was "Wondowlowski" and he scored three more goals in the first half before changing into a spellchecked shirt at halftime.
The Price is Right host and Seattle Sounders co-owner Drew Carey donated a total of $5,000 to two charities of Wondolowski's choosing (the Nike N7 Fund and Street Soccer USA) for the misspelled shirt. But against Cuba just four days later, the superstitious Wondolowski had the extra "w" printed on the inside of his jersey to try and keep his goal streak going.
The hidden "w." (Fox)
With the USA in cruise control at the start of the match, Cuba opened the scoring in the 36th minute to take a surprising lead. A Landon Donovan penalty made it 1-1 just before halftime and in the 57th minute, Joe Corona put the USA up 2-1. Then it was Wondo time. In the 66th minute, Wondolowski scored with a volley from close range off an excellent pass from Kyle Beckerman (video above) and then finished it off with another in the 85th minute. After no goals in his first nine international appearances, Wondolowski now has six in his last three matches over the last eight days.
Of course, this avalanche of goals has come against inferior competition and at 30 years old, Wondolowski isn't exactly the future of the team, but hey — goals are goals and if he can help the team to their first Gold Cup title since 2007, it will be something to be proud of. Even if he did need an extra "w" to do it.
Here's Joe Corona scoring his first international goal at the senior level in style...
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