Despite making just 12 appearances for the USMT, Chris Wondolowski has made a convincing case to be a part of next year’s World Cup squad. The San Jose Earthquakes forward is one of a number of fringe players looking to force his way into Jurgan Klinsmann’s plans for next year’s tournament in Brazil.
The striker followed up his impressive hat-trick against Belize in their opening Gold Cup clash with two more goals in the USA’s 4-1 victory against Cuba, coming off the bench and adding another brace to help his side continue their perfect start to the tournament.
With the striker now beginning to match his consistent MLS form (66 regular season goals since the start of 2010) on the international stage, Wondolowski believes he is ready to become a regular scorer for the USMT.
“I think I’m very confident in my play and I think just even getting the goals is so huge. I’m feeling more confident in my passing and in my touch and things like that where it’s really helping me, and it’s really raising my level,” admitted the striker.
It’s been quite a turn in fortunes for the 30-year-old, who struggled to adapt to international soccer during the 2011 Gold Cup, failing to score for the US since his January 2011 international debut.
But after making his goal-scoring return to the squad for the 6-0 victory against Guatemala at the beginning of July, Wondolowski has gone from strength to strength. The veteran has impressed Klinsmann and fans placing a bet on soccer, at time when a lot of focus is switching to the World Cup, a competition that the US will enter as a lively outsider in the betting odds.
“He’s been wonderful,” said US head coach, Klinsmann. “It’s a joy to see him every day in training and getting his goals that he was waiting for such a long time for, and now they’re coming.
“It’s not only that he has the instinct to be where the ball will be; it’s also the runs that he makes to open things up, open up channels for the other guys.”