SAN JOSE, Calif. – San Jose Earthquakes legend Chris Wondolowski was inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023 on Wednesday night in a ceremony at San Jose’s SAP Center. Wondolowski finished his 17-year Major League Soccer career in 2021 as the all-time leading goal scorer in MLS history (171 goals) and the Earthquakes leader in nearly all statistical categories. Fellow local icons Patrick Marleau, Lorrie Fair and Dave Stieb joined Wondolowski as inductees.
“I’m so lucky and honored to be inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame,” said Wondolowski. “If you told me 20 years ago that I’d be here one day alongside Patrick, Lorrie and Dave, who I’ve admired from afar, I wouldn’t believe it. Anyone who gets here needs a network to help them. You need your teammates. You need your coaches. You need everyone who believes in you. So to celebrate this tonight with the fans who I love and am passionate about, but also my friends and family, it’s a dream come true.
“I couldn’t be more thankful to the San Jose Sports Authority, the City of San José and everyone involved with this event for this amazing honor and also for the incredible work they do supporting local high school and amateur sports, as well as the Special Olympics here in Northern California.”
Originally selected by the Quakes in the fourth round (41st overall) of the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft, Wondolowski went on to become the all-time leading goal scorer in league history (171). The forward had a career year in 2012, tying the MLS single-season record with 27 goals and earning the league’s MVP award while leading San Jose to its best regular season in club history. Ultimately, Wondolowski finished his 14 years in San Jose with several accolades, namely three consecutive MLS Best XI awards and two league scoring titles. On a team level, he won two MLS Cups (2006 and 2007 with Houston Dynamo FC) and two Supporters’ Shields (2005 and 2012 with San Jose).
Internationally, Wondolowski made 35 appearances and scored 11 goals for the United States. A proud member of the Kiowa Tribe, he became the first Native American to play for the U.S. at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, appearing in two matches. He also represented the U.S. at three Concacaf Gold Cups, helping the U.S. win the tournament in 2013 while earning the Golden Boot with a tournament-best five goals.
Wondolowski joins three former Earthquakes currently in the Hall of Fame: John Doyle, Mani Hernandez and Paul Child. Doyle, who was on hand for the festivities on Wednesday, was Quakes general manager in June 2009 when the club traded for Wondolowski to bring him back from Houston to the South Bay and catalyze his legendary run.
The San Jose Sports Authority marked the 28th year of the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame. The inductees hailed from the upper echelon of collegiate, professional, Olympic and international competitions. Although from different sports in different eras, they have made a lasting impact both on and off the field of play.
Each inductee was recognized with a bronze plaque that will be permanently installed on the concourse at the SAP Center at San Jose. Including the 2023 inductees, there are now 121 South Bay sports icons enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The annual ceremony is an event of the San Jose Sports Authority, San Jose Arena Authority, SAP Center Management/San Jose Sharks and the City of San José. It also benefits Special Olympics Northern California and high school sports programs.