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Wondolowski still a question mark for Brazil

Apr 4, 2014, 5:31 PM EDT

Wondolowski AP

Chris Wondolowki scored the USMNT’s second goal against Mexico on Wednesday, and everyone went ga-ga.

It was, after all, his ninth international goal in his last 10 matches.

But some still don’t believe the poacher-by-trade brings enough to the squad to earmark a trip to the World Cup this summer, arguing he’s too one-dimensional.

Our partners at Soccerly have argued against Wondolowski’s inclusion for Jurgen Klinsmann’s summer squad.

What a terrific goal from Chris Wondolowski in Phoenix on Wednesday night to help the U.S. earn a ‘tale of two halves’ draw with Mexico.

He did what he does best – he’s a relentless runner with a very good goalscoring instinct. He drifted behind a Mexican defender, anticipated a potential scoring area, and found net with a skillful poke off of Michael Bradley’s header.

It was great stuff. But here’s another question – was his name mentioned once during the broadcast outside of the goal? Did he hold up the ball well for his teammates to get upfield? Did he go at defenders with trickery and pace? Did he connect with Dempsey often to provide his scoring partner with opportunities?

The answer is ‘no,’ and it’s for this reason that Wondo will not be making the trip to Brazil.

The point is a fair one, but Wondolowski’s good form may be too much for Jurgen Klinsmann to pass up.  Will he get smothered by a complete squad like Germany or Portugal? Or will he provide an outlet should the US find a break or two?

Do you think his recent flurry of goals dating back to last summer’s Gold Cup warrants a place in the squad? Or do you believe the likes of Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson, and Eddie Johnson would be more useful against more difficult opponents?

  1. jslip1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    Unfortunately his style is more congruent with Jozy’s. He will poach for days. The problem, primarily, is that Jozy is physically stronger (and EJ stronger still). Wondo is a great asset and I honestly think he would do well, but from our midfield forward we are crowded.

    • saidfrh1 - Apr 5, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      This team needs a player to be in the right place at the right time in order to score, such as Wondo. Altidore, Dempsey, Donovan haven’t been a threat to opponents lately. At least Julian Green took on/challenged the Mexican defense. Aron Jóhannsson and Brek Shea been effective attacking the defense and the goal. The team doesn’t have a player who can shoot outside the 18, nor has a player that can dribble his way to score. At least Wondo has the feel to be in the right place and score.

      • josh907 - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        Dempsey is better than Wondo as a poacher. If we need a poacher we can just play Dempsey. Also, both Dempsey and Altidore can score from outside the 18 and Altidore and Fabian Johnson can both dribble their way to score. Wondo provides nothing that everyone else doesn’t already do. Thus Wondo is useless.

  2. talgrath - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    I think people really have lost sight of what makes a good striker, because that’s putting the ball in the net. Wondolowski isn’t the perfect striker, he can’t put the ball in the net and do everything else well too, but he’s very good at exactly what you want a striker to do, strike the ball and put it in the net. in that same span nobody, and I mean nobody, has put that many goals in for the USMNT, nobody, nobody has even come close to matching his rate on a goals per game basis. The fact of the matter is that while Wondolowski isn’t perfect, he’s good at what a striker needs to do. Would I take Wondolowski over Dempsey or Donovan or any other more “complete package” striker? Not at all. But there’s space on the squad for Wondolowski, so why not take him? If nothing else he’s a great “roll of the dice” striker sub for when you’re down a goal or two.

    • josh907 - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      Corection: Wondo is good at putting the ball in the back of the net against teams like Belize and B teams, not good teams.
      Please use facts

      • josh907 - Apr 6, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        *correction

      • talgrath - Apr 7, 2014 at 4:11 AM

        I did use facts, you just said he’s not good because he’s only scored against teams you think are bad, not exactly facts. Almost every opportunity under Klinsmann he has been given he’s put the ball in the net, you can’t really ask more of him can you? Who does he need to score on in the upcoming schedule prior to the World Cup to convince you?

  3. mdac1012 - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    Wondo is what he is. We have argued about him and discussed him on this sight probably more than any other USMNT player in the last two years. I might get labeled as a Wondo hater, which is funny because I like the guy, I think he is a great guy who has gotten the most out of his ability. It’s not about being a hater it’s about being a realist. One goal against Mexico doesn’t suddenly elevate what has been a mediocre resume against good international competition.

    His strengths are that he is a smart player, who makes good runs and has a knack for positioning himself in the right place at the right time. His weaknesses are that he really doesn’t do anything else well. He doesn’t create his own shots, he doesn’t have great ball control, he doesn’t pass well and he doesn’t cross well. He is a hustle guy but doesn’t have very good pace, or a quick first step. He is a right place at the right time type of player, which scores you a lot of goals in MLS, but not so many against good international completion that is going to have him marked in front of the net.

    With all that said, based on his recent performances and the worries, Klinnsman must have over Jozy, I think Wondo makes the team. Not only that, I think he sees important minutes in the WC, which is not something I would have thought even a few months ago.

  4. lanzurrah - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    Leave Eddie Johnson home….take Wondo

    • talgrath - Apr 7, 2014 at 4:14 AM

      Or take both, there’s space enough for both.

  5. braxtonrob - Apr 14, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    Wondo continues to get zero credit for his understanding of the game.

    He’s not a “poacher”, he’s just VERY talented. (Not every position on the pitch is about pure athleticism, and specific soccer skills. If you can’t see how legitimately “good” Wondo is, then your understanding of the striker position is severely in question.)

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