Minutes after scoring the 99th goal of his MLS career, with a semicircle of reporters two deep surrounding him in front of his locker, Chris Wondolowski acknowledged the first question aimed at him asking about potential goal number 100, but kept his answer curt.
Then, a disembodied voice called out to the throng asking that there be no more inquiries regarding Wondo's quest for the century mark, and the San Jose Earthquakes star striker muttered under his breath a relieved "Thank you." He was happy to go on about the Quakes important 2-0 victory over visiting Columbus Crew SC, but there would be nothing more about his individual accomplishments
Professional athletes -- heck, athletes at any level -- have their superstitions, and Wondolowski's involved a complete lack of acknowledgement of the impending milestone he would accomplish a week later at Levi's Stadium against the Orlando City SC in a 1-1 draw. Following that match, he held court for reporters for as many questions as they lobbed his way regarding his 100th MLS goal.
"It's been crazy, a bit surreal, but I love it," Wondolowski shared. "It's one of those things that is slowing creeping in. Right now it is fun. I am enjoying going out there."
And then, he was asked about the next milestone he had within site -- scoring the 100th goal of his Earthquakes career. He chuckled even before the question was completed, already preparing himself to give a polite response.
"It will be cool to do that for one club, a club that I love and am really passionate about," Wondolowski said, before his voice trailed off a bit. "I'm excited about that, so hopefully I get there."
And with that, he turned back to his locker to gather his things and head back to his family, all of which had been present at Levi's for the historic moment of the day. Goal 104, which will mark 100 goals for San Jose, and with it the celebration of that mark, will come another day.
Last weekend, Wondolowski netted number 101 in the Quakes 3-1 loss at Toronto FC. A goal nearly identical to his century marker, a shot from the penalty spot, it brought Wondo to within three of the Earthquakes milestone. This weekend, the team is back at Avaya Stadium, and Wondolowski is a hat-trick away from history. In his MLS career, Wondo has scored three goals in a game on four occasions -- the last time in October 2012 against the Colorado Rapids -- so it is a possibility he can do the same against FC Dallas on Sunday.
Wondolowski has scored in four straight games for San Jose, and he has eight goals on the season, second behind only Crew SC forward Kei Kamara in MLS. A hat-trick versus Dallas would be a big achievement, but Wondo is certainly in form. It is not unreasonable to expect him to be gunning for Quakes goal #100 throughout the month of June -- perhaps even in the California Clasico at Stanford Stadium on June 27.
Only three other members of MLS's century club have also scored at least that many for a single club -- Jaime Moreno with DC United (131), Landon Donovan with the LA Galaxy (112), and Taylor Twellman with the New England Revolution (101). Wondolowski has 97 goals so far for the Earthquakes. It seems more a matter not of "if" but "when" he reaches that goal scoring plateau as well.