SAN JOSE, Calif. – San Jose Earthquakes legend Shea Salinas has announced his plan to retire from professional soccer following the 2022 Major League Soccer season. Saturday night vs. Minnesota United FC at PayPal Park will be the final home match of his 15-year MLS career, which includes 13 seasons in San Jose.
Among all players in MLS history, Salinas ranks 10th in games played (374). He also ranks top-100 in MLS history in assists (53; 43rd) and minutes played (20,623; 83rd). He is one of just six players in MLS history with 370+ appearances and 50+ assists. He is also one of just 22 players, and 18 non-goalkeepers, to play 15+ seasons in MLS.
“I am so grateful for the 15 years I got to play professional soccer. It was 15 more years than I had ever expected. I’m thankful for all of the gifts, opportunities, and people God put in my life to make this happen and to shape me along the way,” said Salinas. “I want to especially thank the San Jose Earthquakes club, fans, community, and my teammates that have supported and encouraged me so well along the way. Lastly, this adventure has only been possible because I get to share it with my amazing wife and family. I am excited to see where God will use me next.”
Salinas, 36, joined the Earthquakes as a second-round selection in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft from Furman University. After two seasons with San Jose, Salinas was selected by the Philadelphia Union and Vancouver Whitecaps FC in consecutive Expansion Drafts ahead of the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Salinas returned to San Jose via trade in November 2011 and has remained with the team ever since.
During his time in San Jose, Salinas helped the club win the 2012 Supporters’ Shield, recognizing the league’s best regular-season record, as well as secure additional playoff appearances in 2017 and 2020. Only Chris Wondolowski (14) played for the Earthquakes for more seasons than Salinas (13).
Salinas ranks first in assists (50), second in games played (331) and corner kicks (405), third in games started (182) and minutes played (18,133), seventh in shots (226), and tied for seventh in game-winning goals (5) among all players in Quakes history.
“Few players in Major League Soccer history have made the lasting impact that Shea Salinas has,” said Earthquakes General Manager Chris Leitch. “The longevity, durability, and consistency he has displayed over his 15 seasons in MLS is remarkable. Even more important is the positive attitude with which he impacted each and every locker room he was a part of, and the desire he had to give back to our local community. We’re proud that Shea was a member of our club for 13 seasons.”
The Grapevine, Texas native was also instrumental in the club’s success in the California Clasico at Stanford Stadium. In the annual event vs. the LA Galaxy, Salinas tallied three goals, including one game-winning goal, and five assists in seven appearances at Stanford Stadium.
In addition to his on-field accolades, Salinas was revered for his willingness and desire to give back to the local community. He was honored with the Andrew Bedard Spirit of the Game award, the club’s most distinguished recognition for philanthropy, in 2009, 2012, 2014, and 2015. He was also the recipient of the Media Good Guy award, recognizing the player most open and welcoming to media requests, in 2019 and 2020.