CARSON, Calif. – Chris Wondolowski is fairly sure his only chance to make the U.S. World Cup roster is to keep creating offense at every opportunity.
When he got a chance to start Saturday, Wondo jumped all over it.
Wondolowski scored two goals in the United States’ 2-0 victory over South Korea in its first exhibition of the World Cup year.
The striker for the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer strengthened his case for going to Brazil with his sixth and seventh goals in his last eight appearances for the U.S. team, which was missing several top players.
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Wondolowski headed home a rebound in the fourth minute and struck again on a short shot in the 60th minute, capitalizing on two broken plays for another big day in his late-blooming international career.
“My mind frame doesn’t change,” said the 31-year-old Wondolowski, who got his first call to the U.S. camp a little more than three years ago. “Any time I get this wonderful opportunity to represent my country, I’m going to try to make the most of it. That’s always been my mind frame since Day One, and that’s what it’s going to be until the last.”
The Americans’ patchwork lineup handled South Korea’s offensive pressure while winning their 13th straight home match, thrilling a flag-waving, sellout crowd of 27,000 at StubHub Center.
After winning 16 matches and the Gold Cup title in 2013, the Americans began World Cup preparations with a 2½-week training camp in Brazil last month before a week in Southern California.
“The guys showed a lot of quality, a lot of effort,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.
Several key U.S. players were not in camp while busy with European club teams, including captain Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, Geoff Cameron, Jozy Altidore and goalkeeper Tim Howard. Furthermore, Michael Bradley is getting settled in at Toronto FC.
Klinsmann remains encouraging about Wondolowski’s chances of getting to Brazil while also affirming Altidore’s spot atop the U.S. lineup.