United States international striker Chris Wondolowski is on the cusp of something special and he knows it, as the San Jose Earthquakes prepare to host Orlando City in the MLS.
The Earthquakes welcome Orlando to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Sunday, with Wondolowski one goal shy of 100 regular-season goals in the top-tier of US football.
Wondolowski took his tally to 99 during the Earthquakes’ 2-0 win over Columbus Crew last time out and the 32-year-old striker is within touching distance of a century of goals.
Only Landon Donovan (144), Jeff Cunningham (134), Jaime Moreno (133), Ante Razov (114), Jason Kreis (108), Dwayne De Rosario (104), Taylor Twellman (101) and Edson Buddle (100) have scored more goals in the history of the MLS.
“I’ve studied this league,” Wondolowski told reporters following last week’s match.
“I’m very proud to be a part of it, and so I know who’s up there.
“It’s crazy to think [about]. That’s a special part of it. It’s a number but it’s a number where some of the best that have played in this league have reached.
“I’m not there yet but I’m hoping to be there and be synonymous with those names. It’s pretty unreal, to be honest.”
Sunday’s fixture is not just about Wondolowski, with the in-form Earthquakes – fourth in the Western Conference – looking to extend their unbeaten streak in five matches.
Orlando, meanwhile, are riding high after last week’s 4-0 drubbing of reigning champions Los Angeles Galaxy, which helped the expansion club up to fifth in the table.
The only other match on Sunday is an all-East affair, with third-placed New York Red Bulls hosting Philadelphia Union at Red Bull Arena.
Free-falling Los Angeles could be without captain Robbie Keane for their home game against Houston Dynamo on Friday due to a groin injury.
The Galaxy are seventh in the West and without a win in five matches.
Chicago Fire travel to the Crew on Friday.
On Saturday, Eastern Conference leaders DC United do battle with New England Revolution in a top-of-the-table clash.
Toronto FC will be without star striker Jozy Altidore for the visit of Portland Timbers, Western conference pacesetters FC Dallas make the trip to Montreal Impact, who notched their first win of the season last week, and Vancouver Whitecaps are away to lowly Colorado Rapids.
Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City will meet in Seattle, while Real Salt Lake versus New York City is the other fixture on Saturday.
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