U.S. men's national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann says he's very excited to bring Chris Wondolowski to Brazil as one of his four World Cup forwards.
The San Jose Earthquakes might have some mixed feelings about it as they prepare for a stretch of at least another three league matches without their top scorer.
The Earthquakes, however, will have defender Clarence Goodson back from national team camp Sunday night at home against the Houston Dynamo, whose already limited squad will be without Brad Davis after the midfielder made the U.S. cut.
Wondolowski was anything but a sure thing to be included on the final 23-man roster and is one of three attacking players considered by many to be a surprise inclusion over Landon Donovan. San Jose (2-4-4) might have expected Goodson to be the one on extended leave.
"I think he expected to be there," coach Mark Watson told the club's official website. "He's been a part of the squad through the qualifying process. We feel for Clarence right now because we know he's disappointed. But he's a great pro, a great character. He'll come back to us probably with a lot of fight and a renewed spirit to help this team."
His return comes at a good time for the Earthquakes' back line, which will be without Honduras defender Victor Bernardez while defender Jason Hernandez could miss the match due to bereavement.
But with 10 goals in 10 matches, five of which have come from their top forward, it'll likely be Wondolowski they miss most. The impact was felt in last Saturday's 1-0 loss in Seattle as San Jose managed one shot on goal.
The Earthquakes' attack could benefit from midfielder Shea Salinas, who will return from suspension while forwards Steven Lenhart and Alan Gordon could also be available as they work back from injury.
The Dynamo (5-6-2) could also be facing some attacking dilemmas. Besides Davis and Honduras midfielder Boniek Garcia being away for at least the next three league matches, they'll be without striker Mark Sherrod after the rookie tore his left ACL in Wednesday's 2-0 road loss to D.C. United.
He's the second Houston player in less than a month to suffer a torn ACL after Tony Cascio underwent surgery April 30. Sherrod made his first career starts in the last three matches and scored twice.
"It's terrible," goalkeeper Tally Hall told the club's official website of Sherrod. "Not having him in the game hurts us because he's done so well."
Sherrod was replaced by Brian Ownby, who faces suspension after being shown a red card in stoppage time, which could leave Houston with as few as 15 field players available in San Jose.
"Ownby was good for us and I think would have been a part of San Jose, so it is what it is," Hall said. "We've got a job to do, a game to win, and we have enough players to do that. San Jose is known for their effort and their intensity and we're going to have to match that."
The Dynamo have won three straight against San Jose. After a 2-0 victory in the only meeting last season, they've compiled 230 minutes without conceding a goal to the Earthquakes.
Davis, though, has provided two goals and an assist in those meetings while leading scorer Will Bruin also scored twice.
- Sports & Recreation
- San Jose Earthquakes
- Houston Dynamo
- Chris Wondolowski
- Clarence Goodson