Christmas unwrapping, our favorite stories of 2012: Mine was Chris Wondolowski’s record breaking year
Dec 24, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT
Who doesn’t love a comeback story?
Chris Wondolowski isn’t a “comeback” tale in the conventional sense, but it certainly is one of overcoming obstacles, an underdog’s account, if you will.
Wondolowski came out of a small college and was an unheralded MLS draft pick back in 2005. His top resume boast at that point: being a 17-goal scorer for the Chico Rooks in one of the country’s lower tier leagues.
He’s not remarkably big and even he, himself, pokes fun at those unlovely 40-yard dash times.
Indeed, nothing about the man was screaming “record-breaking scoring star.” He didn’t even become a starter in MLS until 2009. Wondolowski was 26 by then, an age when many pro careers are already reduced to “what-might-have-been” dust.
So what a sensational – fair to say “inspirational” – story he became in 2012 as we traced the record-breaking arc through Major League Soccer’s 17th season.
“Wonder Wondo” was set up for success this year, with a whopping 34 goals in 2010 and 2011. Still, who saw this coming?
By July, we were writing with wonder (no pun intended) about whether the San Jose Earthquakes could fetch Roy Lassister’s single-season record for MLS goals, 27, set back in the very different day of 1996, the league’s inaugural campaign.
San Jose’s high-scoring team sure helped, but Wondolowski’s year or years was all about his scorers’ instincts, about that underdog-type unbending determination, and about his wonderfully clinical finishing
On Oct. 27, Wondolowski made history in Portland, striking No. 27 from the penalty spot at Jeld-Wen Field, putting a pretty bow on what I will call my favorite story of 2012.
- Why MLS was so focused on New York as the 20th market 14
- It’s official: Manchester City and the Yankees will own and operate Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. 34
- Gareth Bale set to re-sign with Tottenham – But is it a good deal for the Welshman? 8
- Looking back at Week 6 of the NWSL season 2
- Movement in the LA Galaxy-Omar Gonzalez situation 6
- Bigger impact on U.S. soccer growth: David Beckham or Pele? (35)
- It’s official: Manchester City and the Yankees will own and operate Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. (34)
- Why MLS was so focused on New York as the 20th market (14)
- Portland ball kid correct to deny Mario de Luna (12)
- Notes from today’s big announcement on MLS, NYCFC the Yankees and the rest (12)
- Sharks pull even with Kings
- PBT: Cavs win NBA draft lottery, will pick No. 1
- PBT: Nick Gilbert again Cavs' good luck charm
- PBT: Grizzlies figuring out Spurs after Game 2
- PBT: Spurs survive Grizzlies' late run, win in OT
- PHT: Bruins rally in third, put Rangers in 3-0 hole
- PFT: Jim Harbaugh to drive Indy 500 pace car
- Play Video: Premier League drama set to thrill
- Play Video: Premier League: Real English drama
- Play Video: Highlights: Union outlast Fire
- Play Video: Sir Alex says goodbye
- Play Video: Morgan committed to growth of new women's league
- Play Video: Boy with cancer, 8, scores against major league soccer team