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Will Wondolowski Get a Call Up to the National Team?

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 23: Chris Wondolowski  of the San Jose Earthquakes kicks the ball during a match against the Kansas City Wizards at Community America Ballpark in Kansas City, Kansas on October 23, 2010. (Photo by Tim Umphrey/Getty Images)

Chris Wondolowski has had a dream season.  He finally broke out this year with a league-leading 18 goals and almost single-handedly led San Jose to the playoffs, where they will try and pull out a win at New York tonight.  He has shown the ability to score and lead a team, and with the national team gearing up for a friendly in South Africa later this month, should Wondo be included on that team?

Bob Bradley recently has looked at MLS play as an indicator of who he should call-up for the team.  As we all know, Edson Buddle and Robbie Findley both earned call-ups because of their successes with LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, respectively.  And we all know how that turned out – neither made much of an impact in South Africa and, in some cases, may have hurt the squad.

One reason that Wondo should get a call-up is the utter lack of depth at his position for the national team.  Looking at the roster, the only guaranteed lock to start is Clint Dempsey, who has been impressive in England this year.  Jozy Altidore has also been written into the ideal starting lineup, but his play in South Africa was rather disheartening.  He is young, so he has time to grow into the role, but as we know with young players he may or may not turn out to be what the US team needs.  Wondo should be given a shot if for no other reason than Bradley has so few options that he needs to see if he can find someone, anyone, who can create scoring chances for the team.  Seemingly the Quakes forward can do that.

But if the Quakes lose tonight, will he get the invitation?  Consider the opposite argument against his call-up.  Before this season, Wondolowski showed potential, but nothing more.  He has been the surprise of the league, but is he a flash in the pan?  Is he a more talented Maykel Galindo?  Another knock against him may be his playoff performance.  If the Quakes lose to New York, will he be penalized?  In the first match he failed to score against a good Red Bulls backline, and with the return leg in New York, it will be harder to pull out that victory.  A failure in the playoffs could lead to some doubts about his big-game ability.

Also, Bob Bradley could go a different direction.  His Edson Buddle/Robbie Findley experiment so far has proven to be a failure, so he may shy away from mid-career MLS strikers and go much younger by selecting a player like Juan Agudelo or Omar Salgado.  Or Bob Bradley could simply stick with Altidore and Dempsey, work Charlie Davies back into the starting lineup, and hope his recent call ups like Brek Shea can become contributors, or continue to develop Buddle, Findley, and Eddie Johnson.

But I hope he picks Wonodolowski and gives him a chance, regardless of how the playoffs turn out.  What’s the worst that could happen?

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  1. Around the World

    December 2, 2010 at 1:44 am

    Wondolowski reminds me of Klose in style of play.
    Except we know he’s purposeful with their club team, so he would fit in with the National Team. This hoping he chooses The US and not Poland.

  2. jloome

    November 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Wondolowski is a talented striker who obviously has learned his lessons and is peaking at the age most pro strikers peak at. He finishes well, works hard, has great positioning, is good in the air.

    Of course Bradley should call him up.

  3. james

    November 5, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Wondo is the Phillips/Fowler of the MLS. He’s a poacher who plays like shit 95% of the game and then scores a goal. He’s not good enough for the intl. stage.

    • jh

      November 5, 2010 at 8:16 pm

      James – you sound like a frustrated kid who never could play anything well, so you are Mr. critical – Wondo plays harder than any other person on the team – and deserves all his recognition this year (you don’t get golden boot of the year award and get your team in playoffs if you are playing lousy 95% of the game —
      he was a state mile champion in Calif. in High school and has endurance – I wonder if you could make it around the pitch –you need to get off soccer blogs and go to another sport you think you know best –

  4. Mattchew

    November 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Yes I know he got minutes, I think it was around 40 min?? But he should have got an extended run.

  5. Mattchew

    November 4, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    I Must Disagree with Buddle whom is the real Deal!! Robbie Finley is/was just a flash in the pan. The problem with Buddle at the World Cup was that he never really got the chance! In the warm-up game against Austrailia he was Class, he may not be lightning quick but, he is good with the ball at his feet and has a nose for goal… Which is much more than you can say about Altidore and his current form, and if you go back to last season in the prem, were you really surprised that Altidore didn’t score?? Bob did a disservice to the Nats by not playing Buddle….Thats a Fact!

  6. Charles

    November 4, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I disagree with Buddle at the WCup.

    Over and above that however, there are many other times when the US team needs players to contribute, CONCACAF qualifying, Gold Cup, etc.

    And while they are going to be defined in the biggest games, Findley and Buddle both contributed.

    Plus, let’s say they were collassal failures, it was only a failed exeriement if you had someone you thought would have been better.

  7. Robert

    November 4, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Our forwards will start scoring once the meat heads in the back line stop playing boot ball and feed it to our mid field.

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