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Wondolowski named Player of the Week: Too early to talk about Lassiter’s record?

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After scoring three goals over the course of two games, Chris Wondolowski was named the MLS Player of the Week.

Wondolowski took over the MLS scoring lead this week, and now has 11 on the season. The reigning MLS Player of the Month easily took the vote from the membership of the North American Soccer Reporters.

“Wondo” scored twice in a midweek match that saw the San Jose Earthquakes down D.C. United by a 5-3 count. And, even though Whitecaps’ striker Eric Hassli stole the show with an injury-time winner, Wondolowski headed in the opening goal in Vancouver on Saturday. The Quakes lost that match to the Whitecaps 2-1.

The Whitecaps have only given up seven goals all season long. Wondolowski has three of them.

How The 11 voted: Wondo. Despite Saturday’s loss to the Caps, there is no doubt that San Jose is the most surprising team in the league. The Quakes still sit atop the West (though Seattle, hot on their heels, has three games in hand and is just three points back), a position that not many would have predicted before the season.

Why? Because the book on SJ is simple. Can the Quakes get goals from people other than Wondolowski? But so far, it hasn’t mattered. Wondolowski hasn’t been stopped. He’s scored 11 of the 21 San Jose goals this season.

He’s averaging 1.1 goals per game, which puts him on a pace for 37. The MLS record is held by Tampa Bay’s Roy Lassiter, who scored 27 in 1996, the league’s inaugural year. (Lassiter also added five playoff goals). Each MLS team played a 32-game schedule in 1996; it’s 34 in 2012.

And, more impressively, Wondo’s 1.1 goals-per-game pace puts him ahead or even with the offences of the following TEAMS:

Montreal, 1.1 goals per game (tied with Wondo)
FC Dallas, 1 goal per game (Wondo wins)
Portland, 1 goal per game (Wondo wins)
Vancouver, 1 goal per game (Wondo wins)
New England, 0.89 goals per game (Wondo wins)
Columbus, 0.75 goals per game (Wondo wins)
Toronto FC, 0.75 goals per game (Wondo wins)
Philadelphia, 0.71 goals per game (Wondo wins)
Chivas USA, 0.56 goals per game (Wondo wins)

So, Wondo has the same or better strike rate per game than nine other teams. That’s almost half the league.

 

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