CARNEGIE, Okla. (CBS SF) – Bay Area soccer fans were not alone as they waited Sunday for the World Cup debut of local star Chris Wondolowski during Team USA’s match-up with Portugal.
Wondolowski was born in Danville and plays Major League Soccer for San Jose’s earthquakes, but traces his family roots to the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma through his mother’s side. He even formally joined the tribe as at age 12 under the name “Bau Daigh,” meaning “warrior coming over the hill.” On Sunday, his fellow Kiowa were watching from a gathering at their headquarters in Carnegie, Oklahoma as team USA took on Portugal. Check out the video here.
The 31-year-old made his first appearance late in the second period with the United States leading 2-1. He made an impressive run down the sideline to help kill the clock, and was given kudos for his heady play during his brief stint on the pitch.
The inclusion on the Men’s national team is something his maternal grandfather, William Elliot, can scarcely believe.
“You always hope for them. But he had the drive and the energy, even at (age 12) to do what it takes,” Elliott told KSWO-TV in Wichita Falls. “We give high praise to Christopher because he has done more than anyone else in the tribe in terms of athletics.”
Despite the strong play from the man Earthquakes fans call “Wando,” team USA ended up in a 2-2 draw with Portugal, meaning they’ll still be on the bubble for advancing in the tournament heading into Thursday’s game with Germany. Here’s what needs to happen for Team USA to advance to round two.