SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — For John Wondolowski, news of his son Chris Wondolowski’s invitation to join Team USA for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is still sinking in.

John once tried to convince Chris that soccer might not be in his future. “I said, ‘You’re married…could this be your last year?’ They would have had to drag him off, kick him out, cut him and have a restraining order for him to stop playing,” John told KPIX 5.

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Chris has been an afterthought nearly every stop in his career. The San Jose Earthquakes barely wanted him, and Cal only Division I college program that recruited him

“We knew that he had something special,” said Cal Men’s Soccer Coach Kevin Grimes. “We were trying to keep it under wraps as much as we could…he was a diamond in the rough.”

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While Chris’s game fit the Golden Bears, his grades did not. He ended up playing at Chico State.

“That was the beginning of I think his step to where he is right now,” Grimes said.

Chris Wondolowski’s persistence on the Earthquakes led to invitation on the national team.

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Wondolowski played in Monday night’s exhibition at Candlestick Park against Azerbaijan, one of three games Team USA is playing before they head to Brazil for the World Cup.

Dennis O'Donnell