Chris Wondolowski scored his MLS-leading 171st career goal in the 34th minute, then announced his retirement after the final whistle, as the San Jose Earthquakes closed their season with a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas at PayPal Park in a Decision Day meeting between teams already eliminated from the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
Wondolowski's goal for the Earthquakes, a first-time finish lashed inside the left post from Marcos Lopez's cross, marked his 167th with San Jose and his fifth in his 17th and final MLS season.
Afterward, Wondolowski took a microphone at midfield and told the crowd he wanted to announce his retirement in front of them, rather than at a postseason press conference.
It was fitting, considering what drew the 38-year-old to play during the 2021 campaign. In previous interviews, he said he considered retiring after 2020, but changed course when the pandemic forced the vast majority of matches to be played behind closed doors.
Jader Obrian leveled just before halftime for Dallas, a goal that came not long after teenager Ricardo Pepi smashed a penalty kick against the crossbar for the visitors, a rare misstep during an otherwise exceptional season.
Pepi finishes his MLS campaign with 13 goals as he heads to US men's national team camp for a pair of November World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Jamaica.
- THE BIG PICTURE: The lasting images from this one will be what transpired after the final whistle, with one of the all-time MLS greats saying farewell to the game with a postgame speech, and one final embrace from teammates who hoisted him in the air afterward.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Wondolowski's 34th-minute strike came the same way as so many of the goals in his career, with an instinctive movement toward a small pocket of space in the penalty area and a clinical finish inside the left post.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Chris Wondolowski. This is the sentimental choice, but it's also a substantive one after a solid 90-minute shift. He nearly had an excellent chance for a second goal late, only for Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer to snuff out the break at the final moment.
- SJ: End of season
- DAL: End of season