Last Saturday, Earthquakes coach Mikael Stahre put stalwart forward Chris Wondolowski on the bench in a bold “managerial decision” to try out a new starting lineup. Naturally, it was a major surprise for Quakes fans, when they noticed Wondo warming up with the substitutes before the Houston Dynamo game at Avaya Stadium.
It’s my opinion that Wondo is just not ready to start a match on the bench.
He has a previous history of pinny trouble, as coach Tim Hanley pointed out during the 2016 MLS All-Star Game. An awful display by the Earthquakes forward.
Shockingly, two years later, Wondo was clearly still woefully under-prepared for his first stint on the bench, and it took several minutes of labor to don his pinny.
There was consternation all over his face as he twisted, turned and folded the fabric like a master origami artist.
The last time Wondo’s face contorted like this, Lenny was twerking at Buck Shaw stadium.
The confusion continued, stretching the material in multiple dimensions, testing the limits of its maximum tensile strength — things were only getting worse.
Ten minutes in, and Quincy Amarikawa was clearly unimpressed. “Who is this guy, and why has he not figured his bib out yet?”
A stolen glance over at backup goalkeeper Matt Bersano, and Wondo had all the pointers he needed for orientation. Suddenly it all made sense – the tab goes at the back.
Finally - thankfully - Wondo was ready just in time for the national anthem, with some dignity restored with his choice of matching gum. The best-dressed Earthquakes Jordan Stewart would have been be proud, but many might say it was too little, too late, in his sartorial travesty.
Call them what you will – pinnies, bibs, or vests – Wondo’s poor pinny handling skill indicates he’s not quite ready for the bench. At thirty-five years of age there are likely to be an increasing number of pinnies in his future, and thorough match preparation will be key: a cold wash on the delicate cycle, line dry followed by a cool iron (and the same for the pinny).
All the pinny etiquette Wondo will need: the tab goes at the back… and it should be on the inside.