It’s official: Chris Wondolowski will be back with the San Jose Earthquakes in 2021.
After weeks of speculation over the legendary forward’s future — not only if he would continue playing after initially planning to retire after the 2020 season and if he did, if it would be with the Quakes — Wondolowski officially signed a one-year extension to remain with his hometown club for one more season, in news that dropped Friday morning to provide Earthquakes fans a Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas. pic.twitter.com/uPfvTkNWkb— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) December 25, 2020
Not only did Wondo feel the fire to continue playing, he did not want to exit the sport in an empty Earthquakes Stadium.
“2020 will certainly be a year we never forget. And while the pandemic has caused so much pain throughout the world, it’s also given me an opportunity to reflect on the things I value the most,” said Wondolowski in a team statement. “I was fully committed to making 2020 the final year of my career, but I’ve reconsidered and can’t wait to join my teammates one more time as we look to bring an MLS Cup back to San Jose. The fans have consistently supported me through the ups and downs and I’d always regret not properly saying goodbye.”
Wondo is coming off a 2020 season in which he was once again San Jose’s leading scorer, with nine goals in all competitions, showing he was still a valuable player even at age 37. MLS’s all-time leading scorer, with 166 goals in regular season games, Wondo is now more than 20 goals beyond the 2nd place all-time scorer, Landon Donovan.
“It’s impossible to adequately explain what Chris means to our club and our community,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “He has given everything he has to the San Jose Earthquakes and it was never in question that he deserves a better send-off than 2020 was going to allow for. We’re excited to have Wondo fighting on our side in 2021 and for our fans to enjoy the league’s greatest goal-scorer for one more season.”
So good news for the Quakes, good news for Wondo and great news for fans. He’s an ageless wonder, and I can’t wait to see him tearing around the field again next year.
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