U.S. Soccer

MLS Ticker: Wondolowski signs DP deal, Frings retires, and more


San Jose Earthquake all-time leading goalscorer Chris Wondolowski, 30, became Major League Soccer’s newest designated player on Monday, when he signed a four year deal, the first three of which are guaranteed, with The Earthquakes.

Wondolowski’s time with the club dates all the way back to September 10, 2005, where he made his first appearance as an Earthquake in a 3-0 win against Chivas USA.

The 30-year-old American striker has scored 61 goals in the league over the last three seasons, the most of any player in MLS history over that timespan, and he tied the single-season record with 27 goals in the league last year.

“As my hometown team, I couldn’t be more excited to sign a Designated Player contract with the Earthquakes. These last few years have been amazing and I look forward to continuing my career in San Jose,” said Wondolowski in a statement issued by the Earthquakes.

The two-time MLS Golden Boot winner and reigning MVP will see his salary doubled to $600,000 in 2013, a number that will increase with each additional season.

Here are some other MLS stories to catch you up on the latest league news:


Toronto FC Captain Torsten Frings has decided to hang up his boots and call it quits after 18 years as a professional soccer player.

The decision came as a result of a slow healing hip injury, which forced him to cut his MLS season short last September.

“During preseason we discovered that my recovery would take longer than expected. I always want to do what’s best for the team and that is why I have decided to step away,” Frings said in a statement.

The German international appeared in 46 games for Toronto, scoring two goals and tacking on three assists in all competitions.

His international career saw him make 79 caps for Germany, appearing in two World Cups, and his club career spanned 14 seasons for Werder Bremen, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.


D.C. United announced on Tuesday the signing of Marcos Sánchez on a one year loan from Panamanian club Tauro FC.

The midfielder, 23, has been on trial with D.C. United since February 12, and he made four appearances for the club in the preseason.

“Marcos is highly technical player who can play a number of different spots in the midfield,” said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper.

Sánchez has made 18 appearances for Panama’s national side, providing the assist on their second goal against Costa Rica in a 2014 World Cup Qualifying match earlier this month.


Major League soccer announced a partnership with the French Football Federation (FFF) on Monday, with the aim of becoming proficient in the development of youth talent, and the ultimate goal of becoming a top league in the world by 2022.

MLS academy coaches will be trained in a 16-month development course, as part of the partnership, and will earn their Elite Formation Coaching License in the process.

“As part of our vision to be among the top leagues in the world by 2022, we are committed to becoming leaders in the area of player development. This initiative will provide an important learning opportunity for MLS youth academies,” said MLS executive vice president of player relations and competition Todd Durbin.

Each MLS club has chosen one coach from their academy to participate in the course, which will take place over the span of the next year.


  • fischy

    I am really hoping to see a lot of Sanchez this year. He’s got great vision and touch. Could really help push the attack for D.C., though he may have to adjust to MLS’ physicality a bit and take fewer/smaller touches. Having said that, he certainly schooled FC Dallas in CCL play, so maybe he won’t need much of an adjustment.


    • Josh D

      I’m amazed they gave him such a long DP contract at his age. But considering his game isn’t based on speed, he’ll be productive for awhile.

      Hope he doesn’t get the curse of Emilio!


  • tryst

    Way to go Wondo. Awesome deal. Though I think he could have gotten more at a big EL club in Belgium/Holland/Turkey or on a relegation fodder club in France/Germany. Or even at a club in Mexico but congrats


    • Old School

      This is, assuming, there has been interest. I haven’t heard a thing (recently or otherwise), have you?


  • Old School

    I like the concept of rewarding your best player. Happy to see he didn’t need to come from another league to do so.

    Good trend.

    Of course, it’s dependent on the player wanting to sign but I hope the trend continues in retaining more American talent at a premium price.


  • tryst

    Great partnership with French league. We need American coaches succeeding in Europe. Maybe Bradley’s next job can be at a Scandinavian club or perhaps even Championship. Bruce Arena needs to take the plunge and go abroad. McBride, Friedel, Reyna. These guys could lead the way. Hard enough for a Yank footballer, must be heresy to have a Yank manager in the PL but someday we will.

    id like to see a partnership with the Danish/Norwegian/Swedish football leagues. Those leagues are on our level. id love to see their young talent loaned here. wouldnt cost anywhere near a partnership with Premier League or La LIga


      • PD

        I think the French league is possibly the most underrated in Europe. I’d put it top 4 or five (1 Prem, 2 Bundesliga 3 Serie A 4 La Liga 5 Ligue 1)


      • GW

        Underrated by whom?

        UEFA ranked the French league 6th in Europe last year and 5th this year.

        The ranking is based on how their clubs do in the Champions League and the Europa League for the last five years.

        The ranking system is based on results not opinions.

        Spain, England Germany and Italy , in that order,are ranked ahead of France this year.


    • fischy

      What are you talking about? A bunch of academy coaches will get exposed to what the French are doing to train their youth players. What does that have to do with American coaches succeeding in Europe?


  • Zeus

    So is Wondo now the first American-born or US Citizen DP to never play abroad? If so that’s quite a barrier to break. And well earned!


  • Weston John

    Congrats Wondo, you deserve it! Respect to San Jose ownership for doing the right thing and not playing games.


  • Travis

    Although it isn’t mentioned here, Sounders scouts have watched Obafemi Martins in person recently. Speculation is that they are considering him as the fix for their current lack of strikers. It would be interesting to say the least and think he could be production here, only 28.


    • Old School

      Could they afford him/are they willing to pay him?

      Martins has a ton of speed and some nice ability but he’s always been a player solely motivated by money.


      • Old School

        Your implication is all players are purely obsessed with money and care nothing about accomplishments or professional glory?

        Obviously you’re not under that impression, as I’m not implying players would play for free. Both are absurd straw man arguments….I think you grasped my point, without the need to play contrarian.


  • MA1 Rodriguez

    I amglad to see Wondo get a raise, but not a DP. MLS needs to change these DPs rules, anyone making above 650k should be consider a DP, many DPs aren’t Internationally known or aren’t above 650k which makes MLS look bad with whole DP thing.


    • GW

      Frings did not cheat. Assuming it was intentional he was trying to give his keeper a chance at saving a penalty.

      It’s not his fault that the ref did not make the right call.

      You would have done the same thing in his place.I sure would have.


      • GW


        In basketball people intentionally foul all the time on coaches


        It is done to achieve a tactical advantage and often on coaches orders. Hacking Shaq, a notoriously poor foul shooter was an acknowledged strategy to stop him.

        In soccer defenders routinely commit professional fouls on attackers who get past them.

        Intentional fouling, which is what Frings did is not cheating. If it were every basketball team and most every soccer team could be branded cheaters.

        For example, people often call out Suarez for cheating Ghana out of that World Cup win but the truth is Ghana had a penalty kick, unlike the US, to set things right.

        Ghana have no one to blame but themselves for screwing up the penalty.

        Blame the ref for the US’ exit not Frings.


      • Brain Guy

        Are you then willing to admit that Thierry Henry did not cheat when he assisted on the goal that sent France to the World Cup and sent Ireland home? Right or wrong, he got absolutely blasted for that.

        For comparison, Miroslav Klose “cost” his team a goal last year when he confessed to the referee that he had used his hand to score off a corner kick. He was universally praised. Should Frings have done the same?

        I’m expressing no opinion here, just raising the questions.


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