San Jose Earthquakes

Chris Wondolowski retires as Major League Soccer's leading goalscorer

Lizzy Becherano
San Jose Earthquakes player Chris Wondolowski retires as MLS leading goalscorer
San Jose Earthquakes player Chris Wondolowski retires as MLS leading goalscorer / Lyndsay Radnedge/ISI Photos/GettyImages

San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski announced his retirement from Major League Soccer following his side's 1-0 Decision Day victory against FC Dallas on Sunday.

The 2021 campaign marked his 17th season playing in MLS and Wondolowski registered the game’s only goal - his 171st in the competition.

He recorded 167 of these strikes for the San Jose Earthquakes over the span of 13 seasons with the other four coming during a single year at San Jose Earthquakes. He currently is Major League Soccer's all-time leading goalscorer, above Landon Donovan and Jaime Moreno. 

"I wanted to do this in front of fans instead of in front of a bunch of cameras. I wanted to do this in front of you because you guys have been there from day one," Wondolowski said to the crowd following the match.

"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.

"Thank you guys for this wonderful ride. Thank you for being a part of me, pushing me on. 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."

The striker’s career began in 2005 as a fourth-round Supplemental Draft pick out of Chico State. He first signed with San Jose before joining Houston for four seasons. 

In 2009, he returned to the Earthquakes, where he would go on to win several honors. 

Wondolowski earned the Golden Boot in 2010 and 2021, and stands as a five-time MLS All Star. The striker was also named the league’s MVP in 2012.