SAN JOSE, Calif. – San Jose Earthquakes forward and captain Chris Wondolowski announced to fans following Sunday’s season finale, in which he scored, that he is retiring from professional soccer. Wondolowski owns nearly every scoring record in Major League Soccer and departs after 17 seasons.
“I wanted to do this in front of fans instead of in front of a bunch of cameras,” Wondolowski said to the crowd following the match. “I wanted to do this in front of you because you guys have been there from day one. This is the last run. I told myself I would cry, and I knew that tears would be coming, but thank you guys. It’s been an amazing ride. I can’t thank you guys enough. It starts with my teammates and literally the league. These guys have been there, in the locker room, practices and the battles. I’ve got to thank my family and everyone here. There are more people than I can count, many Wondolowskis, mom, dad. I got my wife and two girls and a little one on the way. The cool thing is that I get to do this with my hometown team. Thank you guys for this wonderful ride. Thank you for being a part of me, pushing me on. I can’t thank you guys enough. This organization is going to do big things. I can’t wait for it, and we’ll be here for the future. Thank you to the fans. From Faultline to Epicenter, the Ultras and everyone here. I can’t thank you guys enough. You guys mean the world.”
Wondolowski, 38, finishes his illustrious career with 171 regular season goals, 26 more than any other player in MLS history (Landon Donovan – 145). He also holds the MLS records for combined regular season and playoff goals (173), goals for one club (167), game-winning goals (46), and goals in 1-0 victories (14), while ranking second in multi-goal games (25) and tied for second in hat-tricks (5).
The Danville, Calif. native and Chico State graduate 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 and leading his team to the postseason.
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. He won the MLS Golden Boot Award for the second time and claimed his first MLS Most Valuable Player Award.
Wondolowski has been named the Earthquakes’ team MVP or Offensive Player of the Year in seven of the last 12 seasons, finishing as the club’s leading scorer every year but 2018 and 2021.
Wondolowski finishes his career with 413 games played, including 376 appearances for San Jose, most in club history and third most in MLS history.