Wondo’s Regression

May 2, 2017

Chris Wondolowski versus FC Dallas at Avaya Stadium in 2017

Chris Wondolowski is MLS royalty. 123 career MLS goals, two golden boots, an MLS Cup with Houston, a Supporters’ Shield and a league MVP with San Jose. Yet even legends can make inauspicious exits.

Wondo’s production this season has been very un-Wondo. In every season since 2010, Wondo averaged at least three shots with one on goal per game, as well as double-digits goals by season’s end. He found ways to get open in the box and finish his chances.

In his nine games of the 2017 season, Wondo has two goals, which puts him on pace for an eight goal season. Wondo also averages just 1.8 shots per game, with only 0.56 of those shots hitting on frame. In other words, Wondo challenges the opposing ‘keeper once every two games.

It’s not a stretch to say that the Quakes’ lack of offense stems from its captain, and this season may be the beginning of the end for the man that’s become the icon of Earthquakes soccer.

Wondo celebrating after an equalizing goal versus Vancouver FC in 2017

Even if he isn’t the goal-scorer he once was, Wondo should stay in the starting XI. A proven goal scorer like Wondo may be in a drought, but rain may be on the way. Wondo also co-leads the teams in goals (showing how poor the Quakes offense has been) and is the unquestioned leader of the team; removing that piece of the puzzle may be disastrous for a Quakes team looking to break into the playoffs for the first time in five years.

However, Quakes fans should be wary of the man that built Avaya Stadium. At 34 years old, Wondo’s playing days are definitely numbered. Furthermore, Wondo should not be expected to carry the burden of leading the team in scoring for the eighth consecutive season. Someone from within the team needs to assume the responsibility of scoring goals if the Quakes are going to make the postseason.

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