Chris Wondolowski named MVP of Major League Soccer
Club alumnus wins landslide vote after record season for Quakes
Wondo’s 27 Goals in 2012
Earthquakes Praise Wondo
The fairytale is now a reality.
San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski on Thursday was unveiled as the 2012 Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player, culminating a shocking rise from 41st overall pick in the 2005 Supplemental Draft to best player in all of MLS. The former member of the DVSC Renegades, De La Salle High School and Chico State is the first San Jose player to win the MVP Award.
The award recognizes a season which saw former Diablo FC player Wondolowski tie the MLS record for goals scored in a single season with 27 tallies. It was the third straight year that the 29-year-old has led the league in scoring, although he missed out on the Golden Boot in 2011 due to the assists tiebreaker, which gave the honor to D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario.
No tiebreakers were necessary for the 2012 MVP. Wondolowski, who grew up an Earthquakes fan in Danville and made his mark in the Reserve League, received the overwhelming majority of votes to beat out New York Red Bulls captain Thierry Henry, Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi and Houston Dynamo veteran Brad Davis — the first for a member of the Earthquakes.
The Quakes striker, who been on United States Men’s National Team squads over the past two years, also joined some elite company in the process, becoming only the fifth US-born player to win the MVP crown in the 17-year history of the league (joining Landon Donovan in 2009, Taylor Twellman in ’05, Tony Meola in ’00 and Jason Kreis in ’99).
Wondolowski is the first player in club history to win league MVP honors. In 2010, he was a finalist along with LA Galaxy forward Edson Buddle and eventual MVP David Ferreira of FC Dallas. The only other players in club history to be named a finalist for the award were Jeff Agoos in 2003 and Dwayne De Rosario in 2005.
Wondolowski’s 27 goals this season tied the League’s all-time single-season record and won him a second Budweiser Golden Boot award. The plethora of goals helped the predatory striker set an MLS mark for game-winning goals with 11. He also became the only player in MLS history to score the most regular season goals in three consecutive seasons. His dominance throughout the season earned him four MLS Player of the Month awards, a feat unrivaled through league history.
The Danville native led the Earthquakes to their second Supporters’ Shield in club history, just a year removed from finishing 14th overall in MLS.
Since entering MLS in 2005, Wondolowski has recorded a total of 68 league goals, 64 of which came after moving from Houston to San Jose in the middle of the 2009 season. He ranks 20th all-time in MLS goal scoring, two behind Cobi Jones. At Houston Wondo was on two MLS Cup-winning teams.
On Monday he added an MLS Best XI honor for the seocnd time to a season he’ll never forget.
|Player||% Club Votes||% Media Votes||% Player Votes||Weighted Total|
|1. Chris Wondolowski (SJ)||91.23||96.97||70.83||259.03|
|2. Thierry Henry (NY)||0||3.03||11.46||14.49|
|3. Graham Zusi (SKC)||3.51||0||3.13||6.64|
|4. Brad Davis (HOU)||3.51||0||0||3.51|
All-Time MLS Most Valuable Players:
2012: Chris Wondolowski – San Jose Earthquakes
2011: Dwayne De Rosario – D.C. United
2010: David Ferreira – FC Dallas
2009: Landon Donovan – LA Galaxy
2008: Guillermo Barros Schelotto – Columbus Crew
2007: Luciano Emilio – D.C. United
2006: Christian Gómez – D.C. United
2005: Taylor Twellman – New England Revolution
2004: Amado Guevara – MetroStars
2003: Preki – Kansas City Wizards
2002: Carlos Ruiz – LA Galaxy
2001: Alex Pineda Chacón – Miami Fusion
2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards
1999: Jason Kreis – Dallas Burn
1998: Marco Etcheverry – D.C. United
1997: Preki – Kansas City Wizards
1996: Carlos Valderrama – Tampa Bay Mutiny