SAN JOSE -- San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski and defender Victor Bernardez picked up league-wide recognition on Monday as the duo earned spots on the MLS Best XI. The selection is Wondolowskis third in as many years and Bernardezs first following his debut campaign in the league.
The Earthquakes were one of three teams with multiple representatives on the MLS Best XI. The last time San Jose placed two or more players on the list was in 2005 with Pat Onstad, Danny Califf and Dwayne De Rosario.
Wondolowski posted one of the best seasons by any player in league history, tying the league record for goals in a single season with 27 while also notching seven assists. The prolific scorer had 11 game winners in 2012, a league record. The Danville native also won Player of the Month honors a record four times during his memorable campaign and is a finalist for Volkswagen MLS MVP.
Bernardez keyed a San Jose defense that posted seven shutouts in 2012. The Honduran international started 24 games for the Supporters Shield winners, scoring two goals and recording one assist in the process. Both of his goals came at opportune moments, the first sparking a comeback 4-3 win against the LA Galaxy on June 30 and the second a swerving free-kick winner against Chivas USA on Sept. 2. Bernardez is also a finalist for Newcomer of the Year and finished second in Defender of the Year voting to Sporting Kansas Citys Matt Besler.
MLS BEST XI
Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)
Defenders Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City)
Midfielders Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Chris Pontius (D.C) United), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
A finalist for MLS Defender of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, Bernardez has emerged as one of the top center backs in MLS. The hulking center back helped lead the Earthquakes to the Leagues best record (19-6-9), contributing two goals and one assist. The Honduran international joined the Earthquakes after three years with Belgian Pro League giant RSC Anderlecht. This is his first MLS Best XI selection.
The winner of the 2012 Budweiser Golden Boot award, Wondolowski led the League in scoring with 27 goals, tying the all-time single season record. He is the only player in MLS history to score the most regular season goals in three consecutive seasons. A finalist for the 2012 Volkswagen MLS MVP, Wondolowski tallied seven assists while helping the Earthquakes win the 2012 Supporters Shield. This is his third consecutive MLS Best XI selection.
Courtesy San Jose Earthquakes media services