Wondolowski paying for goals


Wondolowski paying for goals

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Earthquakes take on the Houston Dynamo at AT&T Park Saturday at 2 p.m. Watch the MLS action on Comcast SportsNet California.

In 2010, Chris Wondolowski had a breakout season, winning the MLS Golden Boot. The Danville native led the league with 19 goals in 32 games. To put things into perspective, he had just 11 tallies in the previous five seasons. A year later, it's still the same story: Wondo led the league in scoring during 2011, surpassing household names as Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan.

This year, Wondolowski already has a goal in the opener. And every subsequent time he finds the back of the net, it will cost him.

Chris saw an article in the San Francisco Chronicle last summer, said Rob Cann, Founder of Street Soccer USA. He emailed me, and he said, How can I get involved?

Wondolowski has since become an ambassador for the program, which gives homeless folks in San Francisco a new outlook through soccer. Teams of men and women of all ages practice and compete against each other in a modified version of soccer, played on asphalt and indoor locations all around the city.

San Joses premiere striker will donate 1,000 for every goal he scores this season. In addition, hes hoping more will join in on the cause.

I think it really makes a difference, said Wondolowski. And thats the key. I love giving back to the community, especially my home in the Bay Area. Ive gone to one practice and it got me hooked.

The 29 year old Wondolowski says beyond the physical benefits of playing soccer, participation gives these less fortunate men and women someone to rely on.

They have teammates, and a family organization where they can really lean on each other, said Wondolowski. I know I lean on my teammates just about every day. Theyve been there whenever Im in need. And they pick me up in the games. I think its the same thing here. Camaraderie is a big deal, and it goes a long way.

Being one of soccers brightest, rising stars, Wondolowski is the perfect candidate to lead awareness for the cause.

He has a platform, said Cann. The fact that he reached out to us and said, How can I help? That says tremendous things about him.

Its not often an athlete will say this, but Chris is hoping to be writing penalty checks, all season long.

Im hoping to be giving out a lot of money, said Wondolowski. The more money I give out the happier Ill be. Its a win-win for both situations.

Follow Brodie in real-time on Twitter: @BrodieBrazilCSN

Quakes complete MLS Superdraft with local talent; announce two signings


Quakes complete MLS Superdraft with local talent; announce two signings

The San Jose Earthquakes completed their participation in the 2017 MLS Superdraft with a nod to local soccer talent.

A couple of days after selecting a pair of midfielders in rounds one and two, the Quakes chose winger Christian Thierjung from the University of California with their third-round selection.

Thierjung joins Nick Lima, San Jose’s second-ever homegrown signing, as offseason moves that involve Golden Bears.

Thierjung, 22, goes to the Quakes after four seasons at Cal, where he appeared in 73 games, tallying 27 goals and seven assists.

As a senior, Thierjung was named First-Team All-Pac-12, Third Team All-Far West Region and Second-Team Academic All-Pac-12. He was selected First-Team All-Pac-12 and Second-Team All-Far West Region in 2015.

Thierjung also played for the Quakes' PDL affiliate Burlingame Dragons FC during the 2016 season, tallying two goals in five total appearances.

With their fourth-round selection, the Quakes took Auden Schilder, the 22-year-old goalkeeper from the University of Washington.

Schilder was selected Second Team All-Pac-12 Conference and Second Team All-Far West Region in 2016 after surrendering just 18 goals in 20 appearances and posting five shutouts.

During rounds one and two, the Quakes selected Generation Adidas midfielder Jackson Yueill with the No. 6 overall selection and University of South Florida midfielder Lindo Mfeka.

Also making local soccer news, Thierjung’s teammate on Burlingame Dragons FC, three-year captain Joshua Smith, was selected in the fourth round by the New England Revolution. Smith also captained the University of San Francisco.

On Tuesday, San Jose announced the signings of Marvell Wynne and Tommy Thompson. Per league rules, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Thompson, 21, became the Earthquakes' first-ever homegrown player signing in 2014, following one season at Indiana University where he was named the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Year. He’s yet to score a point in an MLS match.

Wynne has appeared in 301 games during his 11-year MLS career, recording two goals and 21 assists. He was an invaluable member of a Quakes team that was hit hard by injuries in 2016.

Wynne helped the Colorado Rapids win MLS Cup in 2010. He has also represented the United States National Team and was a starter during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Day 1 of MLS 2017 Superdraft: Quakes take pair of midfielders

Day 1 of MLS 2017 Superdraft: Quakes take pair of midfielders

The San Jose Earthquakes began their 2017 draft by taking a UCLA Bruin. And if he pans out to play anything like the player he emulates his game around, the Quakes might have themselves a true superstar. 

Jackson Yueill, a midfielder, was selected by the Quakes with the sixth pick in the 2017 Superdraft. Yueill, who models his game around FC Barcelona and Spanish National Team legend Andres Iniesta, is a Generation Adidas Signing for the Earthquakes.

"I'm super excited," Yueill said. "I love the west coast. I'm excited to move to San Jose. It's a really good environment with the team and the fans. I've heard great things. I'm excited to try and bring another cup to San Jose." 

The UCLA product played in 40 games during his college career, scoring nine goals and notching 17 assists during those contests. His 11 assists in 2016 led the Pac-12. 

Considered a high-upside player, Yueill joins the Quakes in what already is a pretyt stacked midfield. "I see myself as an 8," Yueill said of his fit in the MLS game. "A box-to-box midfielder who can get into the attacking zone and create goal scoring opportunities." 

Yueill was named to back-to-back NSCAA First Team All-Far West Region and First Team All-Pacific 12 Conference teams. He has represented the United States on the U-20 team.

As a member of Generation Adidas, Yueill's salary will not count against salary cap. 

"I'm a player that loves to learn," Yueill said. "It's always great to come to a team where the coach believes in you."

With the 28th pick of the draft, the Earthquakes selected another midfielder -- Lindo Mfeka of the University of South Florida. 

A four-year player with the Bulls, Mfeka scored 16 goals and notched 18 assists in his college career. 

Mfeka is a two-time First Team member of the All-American Athletic Conference. He was born in Durban, South Africa.

Day 2 of the MLS Superdraft will happen via conference call next Tuesday. The Quakes have two picks remaining -- the 50th and 72nd overall selections. 

Rounding out local Superdraft News: Two members of the Quakes' Premier Development League affiliate, Burlingame Dragons FC, were selected in Day 1. Brian Nana-Sinkam (Stanford) was selected by the MLS-champion Seattle Sounders and Brian Wright (Vermont) went to the New England Revolution.