The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that 33-year-old striker Chris Wondolowski has signed a multi-year extension with the club. Per team and league policy, the details of the contract were not announced.
The Quakes talisman signalled his intent to see out his career in his local colors with the extension. Although many players at that age consider retirement, Wondolowski is enjoying a productive season in which he currently is among the leaders MLS in goal-scoring, and his game doesn't appear to be of the sort that will deteriorate too quickly with age.
Defying expectations, however, has been a major part of Wondolowski's career. Growing up in Danville, CA and playing soccer at De La Salle High School and Chico State University, he was a lightly-regarded professional prospect, selected in just the 8th round of the 2005 MLS draft by the San Jose Earthquakes taking a flier on a local kid done good. When the franchise moved to Houston after the 2005 season, Wondolowski struggled to make much of an impact, and in 2009, at the age of 26, he was traded back to his hometown Quakes.
What transpired from there was the stuff of myth. In 196 appearances for the club since then, he's bagged a staggering 110 goals, including an MLS-record 27 in the 2012 Supporters' Shield season. Currently 4th all-time on the MLS career scoring list, this extension makes it slightly more likely he'll be able to overtake former Quake Landon Donovan's 144. Because of his remarkable goal-scoring form, Wondolowski has been rewarded with 31 caps to the US National Team, scoring 10 goals, and getting named to the 2014 World Cup squad as the first tribally-registered Native American to represent his country at that event.
While the fact the club wants to keep Wondolowski around is unsurprising, he was entering the final year of his current Designated Player deal. Although he was signed as a DP, the club used Targeted Allocation Money to reduce his cap hit, taking the label off, but not changing his contract.