San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski will be playing for the U.S. World Cup team, but his road to Brazil can be classified as a fairytale story.
Born in Danville, "Wondo," who was barely drafted by the Earthquakes, will now be playing on soccer's biggest stage. He barely made the final 23-man roster and is heading for Brazil.
Wondolowski is no stranger to the underdog role. Major colleges and scouts overlooked the 31-year-old, but he worked to become one of the most productive goal scorers in the United States.
"It doesn't matter what people say," Wondolowski told the San Jose Mercury after learning he made the team. "Some people develop later. The message is, don't give up."
Wondo did not give up when he tried out at a MLS Soccer combine in the East Bay and was asked not to return. His dad, a former soccer player at Cal, pushed him to try again, according to the Mercury.
But this time, the Earthquakes took him as a final selection in 2005. The MLS expanded the draft that year in hopes of developing more players, the Mercury said.
One of his best seasons happened in 2010. That season, he scored 18 goals in 28 games to win the Golden Boot award, which is given to the league's top scorer.
According to Rotoworld, Wondo probably will not be anything more than a substitution, but he could step in if a player gets injured. He performed well when that happened two weeks ago in a Send-Off Series match at Candlestick Park against Azerbaijan.
It's been a great send off series in the states but now the real fun and work begins. Next stop Brazil #1nation1team
— Chris Wondolowski (@ChrisWondo) June 9, 2014