San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski on Thursday was unveiled as the 2012 Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player, culminating a shocking rise from 41st overall pick in the 2005 Supplemental Draft to best player in all of MLS.

The award recognizes a season which saw Wondolowski tie the MLS record for goals scored in a single season with 27 tallies. It was the third straight year that the 29-year-old has led the league in scoring, although he missed out on the Golden Boot in 2011 due to the assists tiebreaker, which gave the honor to D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario.

No tiebreakers were necessary for the 2012 MVP. Wondolowski, who grew up an Earthquakes fan and made his mark in the Reserve League, received the overwhelming majority of votes to beat out New York Red Bulls captain Thierry Henry, Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi and Houston Dynamo veteran Brad Davis — the first for a member of the Earthquakes.

The Quakes striker also joined some elite company in the process, becoming only the fifth US-born player to win the MVP crown in the 17-year history of the league (joining Landon Donovan in 2009, Taylor Twellman in ’05, Tony Meola in ’00 and Jason Kreis in ’99).

Wondo’s goal haul helped San Jose claim the 2012 MLS Supporters’ Shield with the best regular-season record in MLS and also landed the Chico State product an unprecedented four MLS Player of the Month awards.

And on Monday he added an MLS Best XI honor to a season he’ll never forget.


PLAYER % Club Votes % Media Votes % Player Votes WEIGHTED TOTAL
1. Chris Wondolowski (SJ) 91.23 96.97 70.83 259.03
2. Thierry Henry (NY) 0 3.03 11.46 14.49
3. Graham Zusi (SKC) 3.51 0 3.13 6.64
4. Brad Davis (HOU) 3.51 0 0 3.51

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