Athlete of the Week
by Jon Wagner
Jan 15, 2009 | 2563 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chris Wingert

Former St. John's men's soccer standout defenseman Chris Wingert was been invited to the U.S. Men's National Team training camp after being selected by U.S. Head Coach Bob Bradley.

The 5-foot-10, 155-pound Wingert, from Babylon, NY, capped a highly-decorated career at St. John's by winning the 2003 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy (college soccer's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy).

As a team captain, Wingert led the Red Storm to College Cup appearances in 2001 and 2003, and became the first player in Division I men’s history to Hermann Trophy and the NSCAA Scholar-Athlete Award in the same season.

As a pro, Wingert has played in 110 career games, logging 8,009 minutes in five seasons. He was selected in the second round, by the Columbus Crew in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft, and appeared in 22 games that same year, earning 16 starts for Columbus after working his way into the lineup as a rookie. In his second season, in 2005, Wingert played in 27 matches, starting 20 for Columbus.

Wingert was then traded to Colorado on January 20, 2006, for two draft picks. He played in 10 matches for the Rapids’ first team and nine for the team's MLS Reserve Division outfit before suffering a mid-season leg injury, but returned to appear in all three 2006 Rapids playoff matches, recording 272 minutes on the field during Colorado’s march to the Western Conference Final.

An underappreciated player in Colorado, Wingert went from bench player to starter just one day after being acquired by Real Salt Lake on July 13, 2007 for a couple of draft picks. The defender set new career-highs in games played (29), games started (29), minutes (2,589), assists (3) and shots on goal (5). Wingert and RSL reached the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in team history and advanced to the Western Conference Final.

The call-up is the first to a Senior Men's National Team training camp for Wingert. He previously played for the U-23 squad from 2002-04.

The national team is preparing for a January 24th friendly match against Sweden at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA. The team will then begin the final round of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup with a February 11th contest against Mexico.

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