Could Anibal Godoy help take the San Jose Earthquakes to the playoffs?

Anibal Godoy at FC Dallas, April 2017

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Although club icon Chris Wondolowski is the indisputable face of the San Jose Earthquakes, teammate Anibal Godoy has arguably proven the most indispensable part of the team’s roster.

Since Godoy signed with the team in August 2015, the Quakes are 15-9-14 with him in their lineup, and a shocking 1-8-5 without.

The influence of the 27-year-old Panamanian international is on display every time the Quakes run him out at the base of their midfield. Whether it’s running herd as a lone deep-lying midfielder or, more typically, beside either Fatai Alashe or Darwin Ceren, Godoy is the Quakes’ ultimate fixer – someone who provides exactly what’s needed when it’s most required.

“He’s amazing,” Wondolowski said of Godoy after the Quakes’ 1-1 tie with FC Dallas on Friday. “He keeps us moving, and his composure and patience on the ball is a huge asset for us. It’s nice to have him.”

The Audi Player Index has Godoy ranked third in MLS this year, with only David Villa of New York City FC and Romain Alessandrini of LA Galaxy above him. If the Quakes post a victory in New England on Wednesday (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE) to break their winless road skid of seven matches, dating back to last August, Godoy’s fingerprints will likely be all over Gillette Stadium.

“I came here to make the biggest impact I can, and help the team win,” Godoy told, through a team translator, after training Tuesday. “I came here to try to win a championship. I know the team hasn’t been to the playoffs in a number of years, and that’s my goal, to try to help the team be successful.”

Godoy has scored the game-winner in each of San Jose’s two victories this year, delivering a masterful chip to topple Montreal in the opener and following that up with a screamer from more than 25 yards – practically from a standstill – to beat Vancouver. That output almost matched Godoy’s three goals from his first 33 MLS appearances.

“I definitely had a mentality to be more about the attack from the start of the season and get myself in better positions to do that,” Godoy said. “But every game is different, and sometimes the opportunities present themselves.”

The performances might have raised the expectations for Godoy, who is looking to help pick up the goal-scoring load behind Wondolowski, the league’s active career leader.

“He’s so important for us,” new teammate, midfielder Jahmir Hyka, said. “We will keep waiting for him to score many goals and have many assists.”

In retrospect, those goals shouldn’t be that surprising; Godoy grew up playing as a striker or in the No. 10 role, creating offense in the attacking third. It wasn’t until Godoy joined Panama’s U-16 national team that he was moved further down the pitch by coaches Jorge Santos and Mike Stump, who created a player whose skillset has only become more valuable in this age of high-press soccer.

With sometimes preternatural calm, Godoy can often dribble free out of tight spaces or thread successful passes when a turnover seems imminent. Last season, Godoy ranked third in MLS in percentage of passes completed at 89.4 percent, trailing only Seattle’s Osvaldo Alonso and Portland’s Darlington Nagbe. This year, Godoy (91.3 percent) is second among starters behind Columbus’ Wil Trapp.

“To keep possession, don’t turn it over and limit the chances for the other team," Godoy said. 'That’s definitely an important key to the game.”