Chris Wondolowski #8 of the San Jose Earthquakes controls the ball during the second half of the game against AIK at JELD-WEN Field on February 20, 2013 in Portland, Oregon. The game ended in a 0-0 draw. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Major League Soccer's off-season brought a handful of highs for Chris Wondolowski.
In November, the San Jose Earthquakes forward was named the league's Most Valuable Player after tying the league record for most goals (27) in a season. In February, Wondolowski saw his salary double to $600,000, and he earned the coveted "designated player" classification - a salary cap rule that is traditionally reserved for top foreign players such as Robbie Keane or Thierry Henry.
Last week, MLS commissioner Don Garber even tipped his hat to Wondolowski in his annual pre-season address.
"We're excited about Chris," Garber said. "Will he be able to continue and hopefully make another run at the scoring title?"
Wondolowski's other off-season achievement centered on a trip to Washington to meet Senators Tim Johnson (D - South Dakota) and Daniel Akaka (D - Hawaii) as an ambassador with Nike's N7 program, which aims to bring sports to Native American communities. Although Wondolowski grew up in Danville, Calif., he traces his bloodline to Oklahoma's Kiowa tribe via his mother, Janis Hoyt.
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