By JONAH LOSSIAH
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Chris Wondolowski, a striker for the San Jose Earthquakes and a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, became the most prolific scorer in MLS (Major League Soccer) history on Sunday, May 19 with a four-goal effort against the Chicago Fire.
Though Wondolowski came into the match on a bit of drought, you would have never guessed it. He tied Landon Donovan’s record of 145 early on with a real poacher’s goal in the 21st minute. It came off a beautiful assist from Shea Salinas, and ‘Wondo’ simply passed the ball into the bottom right corner.
The goal that broke the record was one of the easiest of his life. Chicago Fire David Ousted mishandled a cross and dropped the ball right at the feet of Wondolowski, who calmly poked it in right in front of Ousted.
Wondolowski completed a hat-trick in the 74th minute on a break from the Earthquakes. His teammate Cristian Espinoza was dragged down just outside the box, but the referee allowed for advantage and Wondolowski didn’t hesitate. His curling shot left the keeper with no chance.
He capped off the night just two minutes later with a calm and easy finish from seven yards out.
Wondolowski became the first Native American to play in FIFA World Cup in 2014 when he represented the United States in Brazil. He played in two games for that team that was inches away from going to the quarterfinals. He has scored 11 goals for his country during his career.
According to a USA Today article published in 2014, Wondolowski’s mother is a half-Kiowa and half-Cherokee, and she made sure Chris know of his connection to his tribe. His Kiowa name is Bau Daigh, which translates to “Warrior coming over the hill.” Wondolowski has inspired many of the Kiowa tribe and they consider him a hero. A few years ago, the Kiowa people started putting on soccer camps, and Wondolowski has returned many times to help with those events.