TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
Christmas 2020 was a special one for San Jose Earthquakes fans, with the club announcing Friday morning that Chris Wondolowski has signed a one-year contract for the 2021 season. He was previously a free agent.
Wondolowski is the MLS all-time goals scored leader (166) and led San Jose in goals (7) this past season as they returned to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2017. Wondolowski previously stated that the 2020 season would be his last, but then factors around the COVID-19 pandemic altered those plans.
“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 club release. “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.”
Merry Christmas. pic.twitter.com/uPfvTkNWkb— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) December 25, 2020
Wondolowski will turn 38 ahead of the 2021 season and recently slotted onto MLS's 25 Greatest presented by AT&T list, which spotlighted the 25 brightest stars in league history. Aside from holding numerous league records, Wondolowksi leads the Earthquakes in appearances (344), starts (304) and minutes played (27,555).
His best season came in 2012 when he posted 27 goals, tying the previous single-season scoring mark, and earned both Golden Boot presented by Audi and Landon Donovan MLS MVP honors. San Jose also won that year’s Supporters’ Shield.
“It’s impossible to adequately explain what Chris means to our club and our community,” Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli said in a release. “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 goalscorer for one more season.”
The Danville, Calif., native was originally selected by San Jose in the 2005 Supplemental Draft, going from a reserve option to clinical finisher. Wondolowski has scored 11 goals in 35 appearances for the US men’s national team.