SBI’s MLS MVP: Chris Wondolowski

Chris Wondolowski (ISIPhotos.com)

Now that's an underdog story.

From Houston Dynamo afterthought to Golden Boot winner, the San Jose Earthquakes' Chris Wondolowski emerged as the unlikeliest success story this season, scoring a league-best 18 goals en route to capturing SBI's Most Valuable Player award.

Wondolowski, who has scored San Jose's last 10 goals, earned four of a possible six first-place votes on SBI ballots (including mine) to outlast FC Dallas' David Ferreira, who received the two other first-place votes, and Los Angeles' Edson Buddle.

Acquired from Houston in exchange for Cam Weaver in the summer of 2009, Wondolowski displayed an impeccable finishing touch, especially down the stretch, to help guide San Jose to the postseason for the first time since the franchise's re-inception to Major League Soccer. Fifteen of his 18 goals were of the non-penalty-kick variety, and he had three multi-goal performances in his final seven games, including hat tricks against Toronto FC and Chivas USA (in a 50-minute stint as a substitute).

What do you think about this selection? Who gets your vote for league MVP?

Share your thoughts below.

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31 Responses to SBI’s MLS MVP: Chris Wondolowski

  1. BSU SC says:

    No doubt about it. Chris Wondolowski deserves to be the league MVP this year.

  2. Mig22 says:

    Buddle. He was unstoppable early which was why the Galaxy could nearly coast to the Supporters Shield. He then found a bit of form late in the year. Not as good a story as Wondolowski, who even has the fun nickname Wondo to help his appeal. But Buddle has quietly and consistently improved to the point where this season, he was truly a beast in the MLS.

  3. Colin says:

    Agreed. Practically earned himself a WC roster spot based on this year’s performance alone.

  4. Joe says:

    This past weekend’s playoff games should be evidence of who the real MVP should be.

    Wondo fans horribly on a great chance late to tie the match, Buddle turns a half chance into a winner.

    Need I say more?

  5. Jimmy Bobo says:

    Buddle was my choice for MVP. It is, however, hard to argue with Wondolowski as SBI’s bold MVP choice. Wondo (pretty much) put his team into the playoffs singlefootedly. Lets see how he responds next year.

  6. jamesey says:

    LA was in first place from week 1 to week 30 thanks to Buddle. When he wasn’t scoring, it was because he was draped by 2 defenders, and that opened up room for other LA players to do their work.

    Buddle had 17 goals, 2 assists, no pk’s.

  7. rob says:

    SJ would not have made the playoffs without Wondo. If you define MVP as biggest contributor to a teams overall success Wondo wins hands down. I am SJ season ticket holder and has been a privelege to watch his amazing story unfold… local bay area kid, a career sub turned sniper and now golden boot winner and MVP candidate. I would love to see him get a brace tonight! SJ 2 RBNY 0…. Go Quakes!

  8. Creige says:

    This is one year when the MVP should not have gone to a Golden Boot winner. In my opinion, we should look at goals, assists and greatest impact on team. I would have picked LeToux with Donovan a close second. I really haven’t seen enough of Ferreira but based on stats, he should also have be a top runner. Lindpere was also sorely overlooked as well.

  9. This Guy says:

    I thought Buddle was the obvious choice too, only in MLS can a mediocre squad have an MVP.

  10. KCB says:

    I get Wondo for MVP. Wondo IS the Most VALUABLE Player to his club over any other player in MLS. Dude scored more than 50% of his teams goals.

    Is he the BEST player in MLS? No way! But, he had an MVP season for his club and that’s why I would be fine with him winning the MVP award.

    Just heard the NASR gave their MVP type award to Ferreira. I’m happy with either one of those two taking it.

  11. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    Frankly, I’m still not sold on Wondolowski. Outside of his goal totals (most of which he amassed in the final third of the season) and his comeback story, what makes him a most valuable player? I ask the same question of Buddle. Both seem fairly one-dimentional. To me, an MVP should be multi-talented. That’s why I prefer someone like David Ferreira or Sebastien Le Toux. They not only can score but can use their skill to set up other people.

  12. Mig22 says:

    Well, we have a fair dispute over whether the award is MVP to his team or MVP as best player.

    Ferreira’s only chance is to win based on the former label. Wondo in some respect is like that but he did score a lot of goals so that counts. Heck Najar would be the hands down winner if the “MVP to his team” were used.

    But if the award is a blurry combination of the two definitions, I’ll go with Buddle.

    Good discussion.

  13. Thomas513 says:

    This is an ignorant comment. Go check the MVPs in other American sports league for the past ten years. Do some research before adding some “Only in MLS..” comment.

  14. RK says:

    I’d argue that Buddle has much more support, making Wondo much more valuable.

  15. Mig22 says:

    There’s certainly an argument for that point, RK.

  16. Adam says:

    Buddle. C’mon. Buddle.

    Buddle got the Galaxy off to such a ferocious start against QUALITY teams and never truly cooled off. Yes, he went the WC, and then his production wasn’t on the same goal-a-game level, but c’mon. The fact that Wondo beat up on a crap Chivas USA team to garner a hat-trick doesn’t equal season-long production.

    I’d go with Ferreira over Wondo if not Buddle.

  17. Ne-Dub says:

    Yes you do, MVP is not based on one game. LA would be just about as good as they are without Buddle. SJ, not nearly as good without Wondo.

    That is the definition of MVP. Most Valuable Player to his team.

  18. Ne-Dub says:

    Thanks to Buddle AND 2 DPs AND a great supporting cast.

  19. chupacabra says:

    And Wonkolowski amassed many of those late-season goals against crap teams already eliminated from the playoffs who didn’t give a damn anymore or he got PKs on very soft calls. SJ’s season ends in a few hours.

  20. scott47a says:

    Too many people are too interested in “who’s hot now.” So at one point everyone said Buddle. Then for a couple weeks people said Montero. And Wondo was just hot at the end so now people, including SBI apparently, are on the bandwagon.

    To me the award should be for a consistent entire season. Given that I would have to say David Ferreira and Omar Gonzalez deserves consideration, as does Landon Donovan.

    (SBI-Just hot at the end? How much of the Earthquakes did you see exactly? Wondolowski was at or near the top of the league lead in game-winning goals all season.)

  21. einar says:

    I would vote for john harkes too if i was sbi. but really buddle deserves it more because defenders just pay more attention to him than a wondo. most of wondos chances hae been laughable. Also buddle continued to score even after the world cup. just give the award to buddle.

  22. Petaluman says:

    Maybe Wondo can drop a hat trick on Red Bull tonight that would make for an interesting discussion on SBI.

  23. Slyboy says:

    Are you kidding? half of Wondo’s goals when playing from the midfield!

  24. jamesey says:

    Go look at Buddle’s goals. They wern’t easy. Plus, one of those DP’s didn’t play until September.

    Just because an entire team has good players, doesn’t mean he’s less valuable. If that was the case, top teams would never have MVP’s.

  25. Spencer says:

    Buddle had a better start to the season, but Wondo finished stronger.

  26. This Guy says:

    Looks like you should have done your research.
    9/10 NBA MVPs in the last 10 years have been on the regular season’s winningest teams.
    8/10 in the NFL with the other 2 being on the 2nd best teams.
    MLB is hard to calculate because of the NL/AL thing.

    So, ignorance may be contagious.

  27. Aypho says:

    Wondo just scored the series winner against the pink cows tonight. MVP for sure.

  28. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    The Pink Cows? ROTFLOL!!!

  29. Ne-Dub says:

    Classic!

  30. Rob says:

    Quakes season has just begun!!!

    I am starting to have flashbacks of the We Beilive season of 2003. Go Quakes!