On the morning of Jun. 28, 2013 I had the pleasure to spend a few moments with 2012 Major League Soccer MVP and Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski. The 30-year-old Danville California born striker has been at the top of the Major League Soccer scoring charts for the San Jose Earthquakes in each of the last three seasons having hit the back of the net 62 times in 99 appearances.
On Thursday evening, “Wondo,” as he is called by his fans and friends alike, took some time to participate in a fan appreciation event hosted by AT&T with him representing San Jose, MLS and the United States Men’s National Team.
A meet and greet autograph session along with live music and a Blackberry display of new mobile devices were all available for the fans to enjoy as part of the event.
Thomas Atzenhoffer: Thanks for your time this evening Chris. Please tell me about what you are involved with alongside of AT&T, MLS and the USMNT today?
Chris Wondolowski: I am here to support the people of AT&T and spend some time hanging out with the fans to sign some autographs. They also have new Blackberry Z10 and Q10 on display for the fans. It’s a really cool phone and I am here to promote that and give back some time to the supporters.
TR: Are they any events or games planned for the fans along with the autograph session?
CW: It is definitely a really cool atmosphere here. I am going to sign some autographs and there are radio stations, music and a lot of other things happening around us to give the fans a great afternoon.
TR: Having technically always been an Earthquake, having moved to Houston in MLS expansion and then later returning, how special has it been for you to get to rebuild your relationship to the fans in San Jose and Southern California where your career began?
CW: It has been very special. I think that San Jose has such a diverse and knowledgeable fan base that it makes it just great to be involved. I love being able to relate with the fans because I grew up here as a Clash [Original name of San Jose MLS club, 1994] and Quakes fan and its really cool just to have that in common.
TR: What is your fondest memory with the San Jose fans?
CW: I would definitely have to say celebrating goals with them. The Ultras are right there behind the goal and I am able to jump up there and celebrate with them. I have been able to spend a lot of time with the fans as I do a lot of things off the soccer field and getting to know the fans they are great nice and genuine people. It is really cool just to be able to hang out with many of them all the time and meet them at local places and restaurants and now spending time with them here at his AT&T event.
TR: When you found out that you were going to be returning to San Jose, how emotional of an event was it and has it been everything you thought it would be in terms of reconnecting with your fans?
CW: It has truly been everything and then some, and it has been great coming back here. I loved my time in Houston but it was special to come back to San Jose. I mean this is home for me. I get to see friends and family and have great support from a wonderful group of fans as well and has been nothing but amazing so far…
TR: Thanks for your time this afternoon Chris, now go spend some time with your fans.
CW: Thanks to you as well and will do.
From his love of his fans to the love of his country and club, Wondolowski proves to be a class act and is a shinning representation of what soccer in the United States is all about.
Although his Earthquakes are struggling at the moment, his five goals so far this season have been important and he is sure to be key for them to turn things around over the summer and try to push out of the bottom half of the Western Conference table.
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