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.
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Radamel Falcao makes his first start for Manchester United who look to build on a strong win last weekend.
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Strootman has hired a man with a solid reputation to try and bring down Roma’s insane asking price.
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Highlights and recaps from the seven-match night in Major League Soccer.
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Alan Gordon’s late winner moves LA even with Seattle at the top of Major League Soccer.
Sep 20, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT
Arsenal’s manager lauded his team’s concentration in its 3-0 win at Villa Park.
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Bradley Wright-Phillips is closing in on history after his season’s third hat trick.
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Arsenal became the first to break through Aston Villa, while Sam Allardyce’s plans came to fruition in East London.
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The Timbers claim fifth in the Western Conference after another decisive win over their rivals.
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Sep 20, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT
Portland’s brightest executed a sublime volley to give his team a first half lead.
Sep 20, 2014, 5:07 PM EDT
QPR manager credited Potters’ solidity while extolling the value of his team’s point.
Sep 20, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT
The Liverpool boss didn’t see enough dynamic play from his squad after a mid-week UEFA Champions League match against Ludogorets.
Sep 20, 2014, 4:33 PM EDT
Former DC United player Pablo Hernandez can take as many bows as he’d like after his stunning backheel volley put one past Atletico Madrid.
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Roughly-translated, it said, “A year of rage to be great again.” That’s good stuff, and the noisy crowd made it even better.
Sep 20, 2014, 3:37 PM EDT
There were several eyebrow raisers on Matchday 4 even before Sunday’s Rhein Derby and a big Wolfsburg match versus Bayer Leverkusen.
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- Aston Villa 0-3 Arsenal: Red-hot Ozil, Welbeck fire Gunners to victory (video) 0