McClatchy news services • Published July 14, 2013
SANDY, Utah — Chris Wondolowski is making a case that he should be included on the United States’ roster when World Cup qualifying resumes in September.
Wondolowski – with his jersey name spelled correctly this time – scored two more goals to raise his total to five in two matches, and the Americans overcame a slow start to beat Cuba, 4-1, Saturday and advance to the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals.
He became the first American with five goals in one Gold Cup tournament.
Landon Donovan tied the score late in the first half when he converted a penalty kick for his 53rd international goal. Joe Corona got his first international goal early in the second for the United States (2-0), which has reached the quarterfinals of all 12 Gold Cups.
Ciprian Alfonso opened the scoring for Cuba in the 36th minute.
While Wondolowski has led or tied Major League Soccer in goals for three consecutive seasons, he hadn’t scored for the national team in 11 appearances before getting his first in an exhibition win over Guatemala on July 5.
“I’m very confident in my play,” Wondolowski said. “Just even getting the goals is so huge. I’m feeling more confident in my passing and in my touch and things like that where it’s helping me raise my level.”
Wondolowski scored a hat trick in Tuesday’s 6-1 win over Belize when his jersey was misspelled “Wondowlowski.”
He started this match on the bench, then replaced Herculez Gomez in the 58th and scored the final two goals in the 66th and 85th minutes. Superstitious, the 30-year-old forward had an extra “W” stitched on the inside of his jersey.
Costa Rica 1, Belize 0: Costa Rica advanced to the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal on an own goal by Belize’s Dalton Eiley in the 49th minute.
Costa Rica extended its shutout streak to 704 minutes with the win, which assured the Ticos of playing their quarterfinal in Baltimore on July 21.
Costa Rica (2-0) plays the United States (2-0) on Tuesday at East Hartford, Conn., in a match that will determine the Group C winner.