By ELLIOTT ALMOND | Bay Area News Group
(San Jose, CA) –
Chris Wondolowski had suspected his national team career was over with a new U.S. coach and an emphasis on youth this year.
But the Earthquakes captain has continued to shine in Major League Soccer, something coach Bruce Arena has noticed.
Arena named Wondolowski one of his five strikers as the United States takes on Costa Rica on Friday in a World Cup qualifying showdown in Harrison, New Jersey.
Wondolowski, 34, is part of a 26-player roster announced Sunday for two big games in the final round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The Americans (2-2-2, 8 points) travel to Honduras on Sept. 5, hoping to move up in the six-team standings in the North and Central American and Caribbean region known as CONCACAF. Stanford alum Jordan Morris also was named to the team.
Seven Quakes were called into duty during the current FIFA break for international competition. Wondolowski’s forward partner Marco Urena will represent Costa Rica (3-1-2, 11 points), which is second behind Mexico in qualifying. The United States is third.
Also called up were Kip Colvey (New Zealand), Cordell Cato (Trinidad and Tobago), Anibal Godoy (Panama), Jahmir Hyka (Albania) and Valeri Qazaishvili (Georgia).
The Quakes (10-11-6, 36 points) announced the call ups before a season-uplifting 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy that vaulted San Jose into sixth place in the Western Conference. Goals by Qazashivili, Urena and Wondolowski in Carson helped the Earthquakes end a six-game road losing streak.
Godoy’s Panama sits fourth in the final round with Trinidad and Tobago last. Albania is third behind Spain and Italy in Group G of European qualifying whereas Georgia faces elimination from Group D with tough games against Ireland and Austria.
Wondolowski has 35 appearances since his international debut in 2011. He has 11 goals and three assists for the Americans and joins the team after extending his 10-plus goals per season record to eight years in a row.
The players will return in time for San Jose’s Sept. 9 game at Toronto FC.
(Story via: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/08/27/wondolowski-named-to-u-s-team-for-world-cup-qualifiers/)