Wondolowski: Klinsmann says I'm still in USMNT plans
CARSON, Calif. – Matching the single-season record for goals scored wasn’t enough to get Chris Wondolowski called up to the US national team’s pair of World Cup qualifiers last month, but the prolific striker is still in Jurgen Klinsmann’s plans.
The US head coach contacted Wondo just before he named his squad for matches against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala and informed him he was opting for other forwards instead, including Seattle striker Eddie Johnson and his own San Jose teammate, Alan Gordon.
“He just kind of broke it down to me and told me what his thoughts were and why he was bringing in this guy or that guy,” Wondolowski told reporters on Thursday at his official MLS MVP presentation. “I appreciate that. I know that I still have a lot of work that I need to continue to get better at, but he made it seem very positive and [that a call-up] is out there, it’s attainable.”
The Quakes forward has eight caps for the US national team, but only three of them under Klinsmann and none since a second-half substitute appearance in a friendly vs. Canada in Toronto this past June.
His record pace at the club level in 2012 might suggest he’ll be a lock for his second consecutive January camp, but Wondo says he wasn’t given any timeline by Klinsmann.
“He didn’t mention specifics on that but he did mention that I’m in the plans,” he said. “He has a lot of guys in the plans, though. The ones that play well come to the top.”
In addition to January camp, the US will be involved in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup next summer, which could be another chance for Wondo to impress as the US juggle a busy schedule that includes the final Hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying. Whatever the case, he’ll take any call he gets.
“The World Cup is the ultimate dream,” he admitted. “I just dream to play on the national team and just try to contribute in any way I can. If it’s even just coming in for a camp and being in practice, whatever I can to just try to make it.”