Wondolowski bids to move closer to the league record for goals in a season Sunday against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the California Clasico.
Wondolowski is San Jose’s all-time leader with 62 goals over three-plus years, but he may end up with the most productive single season in MLS history in 2012.
The All-Star forward leads the league with 25 goals, two shy of the all-time record set by Roy Lassiter with Tampa Bay in 1996. Wondolowski is the first player to come this close to the mark since 2000, when the Mutiny’s Mamadou Diallo fell one goal short.
“It’s been surreal, to be honest,” Wondolowski said. “The names I see up there are unbelievable. Roy Lassiter and guys like that, those guys are absolute legends. It’s a true honor. It’s something that I do take a lot of pride in, but it hasn’t sunk in yet.”
Wondolowski has scored seven goals in his last five games after tallying one over the previous seven matches. He netted his second hat trick of the year in a 4-1 win at Colorado on Oct. 6.
He’s scored 11 game-winning goals while adding seven assists to further build his case for league MVP honors. One of those game-winners came in a 4-3 win over Los Angeles (15-12-5) on June 30.
“I’m not even sure if I’m the MVP of my team,” Wondolowski said. “We have so many great guys that have been doing some things. I kind of get the stats I guess, but it’s definitely team-oriented.”
The Earthquakes (19-6-7) secured the Supporters’ Shield when Kansas City and New York tied Saturday, and this is the first season the team with the best record will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, including the MLS Cup final.
San Jose is trying to sweep the three-game season series with the Galaxy, who will likely be without Landon Donovan as he continues to recover from a knee injury.
The Galaxy have clinched at least a wild-card spot in the Western Conference, but they’re three points back of Seattle for third place and a bye into the conference semifinals. Los Angeles faces the Sounders in the regular-season finale next weekend.
“We certainly don’t want the play-in game,” defender Omar Gonzalez said. “I think right now we’re just trying to get in second or third, and it’s looking right now like it’s kind of tough to be second, so we’re fighting for that third spot. But we’ve just got to win out.”
Los Angeles figures to rely heavily on forward Robbie Keane, the team leader with 15 goals.
The Irish international has four goals in his last four MLS games after scoring in a 2-1 defeat to Salt Lake on Oct. 6.