I want to say I have written that headline once before. Maybe I have and I misplaced it or it was a dream. Whatever the case may be the headline should be all you need to know about what I am going to write below here. San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski has had a remarkable three-year run in Major League Soccer. But is it time he joined the elite in the pay scale?
Wondo told Brian Straus of SportingNews.com that he would like to become a Designated Player and join the rich club of MLS that only includes 12 members.
“We are in the process of working something out,” he said. “It hasn’t quite happened but it should be done, if everything goes smoothly, in the next week or two. As long as everything goes to plan, before the season.” Wondo as we’ve all know by now was by every part of the definition a late bloomer. He scored only seven goals across his first five MLS seasons, spending most of his time with the Houston Dynamo’s reserve team. He made a measly $48,000 per year as recently as 2010, even less before that when he was playing mostly in the Reserve League.
Then, well, we know the rest. From 2010 on he torched MLS with goals in the regular season and in the playoffs. As you’ll see below he has scored a whooping 61 goals since 2010 in the regular season. Thanks to that, his salary more than tripled to $175,000 in 2011. Last year, he made $300,000.
So does Wondo deserve the big increase to the millionaires club? His numbers speak volumes and given his willingness to potentially move to the midfield this season. While his versatility should be commended I don’t see it as a way to get the DP tag next to his name on the MLS salary books. His 27 goals last year were impressive to say the least and if I were him, I’d be arguing with that chip and not the willingness to move into the midfield.
I have to admit, I am torn about this. His last three years are evidence enough to push him into the DP category for sure but he is now going north of 30 years old. I think he knows his run at the top is close to an end so that makes it tough to believe he will keep it up for another three or four years at his current pace.
So what do you think? Should Wondo get an even bigger pay day? Is he worth a DP tag?