Chris Wondolowski has scored an MLS record 166 goals. (Photo courtesy of MLS)
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes have announced that they have signed forward Chris Wondolowski to a one-year contract for the 2021 season.
Wondolowski scored a team-high seven goals during the 2020 regular season to extend his career goals to a Major League Soccer record to 166.
“2020 will certainly be a year we never forget. And while the pandemic has caused so much pain throughout the world, it’s also given me an opportunity to reflect on the things I value the most,” Wondolowski said in a statement. “I was fully committed to making 2020 the final year of my career, but I’ve reconsidered and can’t wait to join my teammates one more time as we look to bring an MLS Cup back to San Jose. The fans have consistently supported me through the ups and downs and I’d always regret not properly saying goodbye.”
Wondolowski, 37, owns nearly every scoring record in MLS history, including career regular season goals (166), goals for one club (162), road goals (75), game-winning goals (45), goals in 1-0 victories (14), and consecutive seasons with 10+ goals (10; 2010-19). He also ranks first in Quakes history in appearances (344), starts (304) and minutes played (27,555).
“It’s impossible to adequately explain what Chris means to our club and our community,” Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli said in a statement. “He has given everything he has to the San Jose Earthquakes and it was never in question that he deserves a better send-off than 2020 was going to allow for. We’re excited to have Wondo fighting on our side in 2021 and for our fans to enjoy the league’s greatest goal-scorer for one more season.”
The Danville, Calif. native was selected by the Earthquakes in the fourth round of the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft, the 89th of 96 collegiate players drafted that year. After leading the Earthquakes’ Reserve League side in scoring with eight goals during his rookie season, he moved to Houston as part of the team’s relocation in 2006, helping the Dynamo win MLS Cup championships in 2006 and 2007.
Wondolowski returned to San Jose in a trade with Houston during the 2009 season. He claimed his place in the Quakes’ starting lineup after scoring in each of his first four appearances in 2010, ultimately winning the MLS Golden Boot Award with 18 goals.
In 2012, Wondolowski experienced the best year of his career, tying the then league record with 27 goals, helping the Earthquakes win the coveted Supporters’ Shield with a 19-6-9 record, and being named the recipient of the MLS MVP award.
Wondolowski has been named the Earthquakes’ team MVP or offensive player of the year in seven of the last 11 seasons, finishing as the club’s leading scorer every year but 2018.