SAN JOSE -- Earthquakes star Chris Wondolowski spent the offseason adding to his story as a late-blooming American star and to his family.

Wondolowski celebrated the birth of his first child, Emersyn, on Dec. 23, about five weeks before he scored two goals in the United States' 2-0 win over South Korea in a friendly in Carson.

"I have a new addition to the family," a beaming Wondolowski said after looking sharp in Tuesday's Earthquakes practice. "She's the love of my life right now, and hopefully, she continues to be my good-luck charm. First game down there, two goals. I'll take it."

Wondolowski and Clarence Goodson, a fellow 2014 World Cup hopeful, rejoined their Quakes teammates last week in Tucson, Ariz., after national team training. They saw action in the first half of the Quakes' 3-1 exhibition loss to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, in which Wondolowski scored off a Shea Salinas assist.

On a personal level, Goodson, a 6-foot-4 center back who dominated during the Quakes' late push in 2013, knows what's in store for Wondolowski. Goodson celebrated the birth of his first child 11/2 years ago.

"I think he'll be a good papa," said Goodson, a U.S. national team player since 2008. "Gosh. What a blessing. It's a tremendous honor to be a parent. I just love it to death, and I know he will as well. Hopefully, she'll have good memories of dad playing soccer. It's something really special."

The Quakes expect Wondolowski to be selected by coach Jurgen Klinsmann to the World Cup team, despite the crowd at the forward position. The Quakes see him spending 40 extra minutes each day working on scoring after practice.

"We know why he'll be on that team -- he scores goals," coach Mark Watson said. "He's done that the last four years in MLS, and he's got a pretty good strike rate with the national team. He showed it once again with two very opportunistic goals against South Korea."

Wondolowski said he was "excited" to be back and agreed that the team has added incentive after missing the playoffs in a tiebreaker. His fitness level and confidence are high after his national team experiences.

He had 11 goals in MLS play last season, down 16 from his banner 2012 MVP campaign.

"I definitely need to bring it up this year," he said. "It was kind of a crazy year. If you look into U.S. (national team) and Champions League, I ended up with 19 (goals). I know it was only 11 in the league, but there's a lot that goes into it. But I need to do better. I left a lot of chances out there."

Goodson holds the distinction of scoring goals in three CONCACAF Gold Cups. He represented the United States in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Goodson paints a positive picture for the upcoming Quakes season, which kicks off against Real Salt Lake on March 15 -- four days after the Quakes host Mexico's Toluca FC in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

"It's been good," Goodson said of training. "Everyone seems to be in good spirits. ... The team's really starting to come together. We've got some good draft picks and good trialists, so everything is really looking up for us."

  • In Tuesday's practice, Wondolowski pumped in goals, and newcomers such as midfielders JJ Koval, a first-round draft pick out of Stanford, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, a French first division veteran, and veteran Atiba Harris continued to turn heads.

    "A lot of guys have looked really good," Watson said. "The draft picks have come in and adjusted really well and had some good performances in the game, and the new face, Pierazzi's looked good. Everyone that we thought would be a part of the group in 2014 has mixed well and done well on the field."

    The versatile Koval is soaking it all in. He saw time with the normal starters in the friendly against Houston, an encouraging sign.

    "It's been great. I've really enjoyed it," Koval said. "The whole team has been really welcoming and making the transition easy."

  • The Quakes are happy target forward Steven Lenhart, who started the previous season coming off knee surgery, is healthy. However, midfielder Sam Cronin and target man Alan Gordon had offseason neuroma foot surgeries and are showing steady progress. Another right back, trialist Andrea Gorlitz of Germany, has looked good.

  • The Quakes will train in San Jose for the next two weeks, squeezing in a friendly against the Los Angeles Galaxy in Fresno on Saturday, before heading to Portland for matches against the Timbers on Feb. 23, Vancouver Whitecaps on Feb. 26 and Portmore United FC (Jamaica) March 1.

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