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Copa America Postmortem: Chris Wondolowski

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Soccer: 2016 Copa America Centenario-Argentina at USA Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Here we are at our final entrant in the Postmortem series. We’ll save the most opinionated one for last (send hate tweets to @RobUsry or post in the comments as usual). This is a disclaimer that my take on Chris Wondolowski will be biased. I didn’t think he should be on the roster. I’ve never thought he was national team material no matter how many goals he’s scored in MLS or against CONCACAF minnows. For a more nuanced and balanced view, read Brendan Joseph’s well put together analysis from earlier this summer.

Wondo played in two matches in the Copa America, starting in one. Here’s a look at his contributions:

Matches Played: 2

Minutes Played: 57

Fouls Committed: 3

Yellow Cards: 1

Positives

Started the biggest match of the tournament. He didn’t miss an embarrassing sitter?

Negatives

Started the biggest match of the tournament. Was completely in over his head and contributed nothing. He somehow managed — as the team’s only striker — to concede a foul outside his own 18-yard box that Lionel Messi eventually scored a masterful free kick from.

Was brought onto the roster to be the back-up striker, but yet in each of the matches the USMNT needed a goal, a 17-year-old was preferred as an impact substitute. It’s not exactly clear as to why Wondo was on the roster if he can’t get into matches when the team needs a goal the most. It just seems a very counter-intuitive decision to bring him over someone who could have helped in crunch time.

Copa Grade - F

Harsh? Probably. He shouldn’t have been on the roster. It’s as simple as that. The fact he started in the most important match of the tournament — suspensions or not — is a joke.

What’s Next

Wondo will go back to MLS and probably keep scoring goals. We can only hope the decision makers have finally learned their lesson and not take his MLS production at face value. It’s passed time to turn the page on the Wondolowski era.