Moonlighting As a Soccer Star
When the U.S. National Team begins their camp this January, they'll be looking to answer its goal scoring problems up top. This should come as good news to Chris Wondolowski, the Kiowa native and overnight superstar of the San Jose Earthquake, who lead the MLS in scoring this year with 19 goals and pushed his team deep into the playoffs. "Wondo", as he's affectionately known by fans, got the call from coach Bob Bradley to arrive on January 4th for training camp ahead of America's friendly against Chile. Wondo will now have to take some time off from his second job, as a youth league soccer coach, in order to try to take his skills to the national level.
As Grant Wahl reported in Sports Illustrated, Wondo makes only $48,000 a year, forcing him to supplement his income by driving to Danville, Calif., after almost every practice to coach under-11 and under-13 boys teams. Granted, he doesn't attract the attention (or advertising dollars) of a David Beckham, hence the former English star earning 135 times as much as Wondo makes, at a sweet $6.5 million per. Beckham scored 2 goals and had three assists in 2010. The average salary of an MLS player in 2010 was $138, 169, according to ESPN, three times what the Earthquake forward made.
You won't catch the humble star complaining, however. After years of obscurity, playing for nearly nothing on reserve teams, being cut and benched, Wondo is enjoying both his new-found stardom and his coaching duties, stating he would like to make a career of coaching once his playing time is finished.
Until then, the moonlighting superstar will hopefully find his fairy tale rise from obscurity to MLS star include a roster spot on the national team.