Following the San Jose Earthquakes’ dramatic playoff exit against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, the all-time leading scorer in MLS history, Chris Wondolowski, confirmed that his previous statements about possibly retiring are being reconsidered.
“I don’t think I’m done,” Wondolowski said. “It’s in me. It’s in my blood, so I want to continue to play. I don’t have anything in line yet, I haven’t discussed any numbers,”
As far as where his return might be, it is not a given that San Jose will be the destination. Being good for seven goals with limited minutes in the regular season, there could be some competition for Wondoloski’s services in 2021.
In the truncated regular season, 37-year-old Wondoloski’s goal tally would see him as the team leader on nine other teams in the league.
Atlanta, Cincinnati, Colorado, D.C., Miami, Nashville, New York, New York City, and Vancouver, to be exact. Five of which were or are still playoff teams.
“I definitely never want to be a burden on the Quakes, but also want to make sure I see all the options, and see what’s out there. I think that the Quakes are doing some amazing things and I want to make sure that there’s the pieces that can be moved to continue to make this team grow to be better.”
There is plenty of justification for him to seek another year, but it does beg the question if he fits in with whatever lies ahead for the Earthquakes, where he’s been since 2009.
Following the game, the man in charge, Matías Almeyda, indicated that he would need some time to think about his next steps.
“I can’t speak for Matías, he’s made it seem that he’s all in and is going to continue progressing this team an making it the standard play that it can and should be,” Wondoloski said.
In a year largely without fans in the stands, the thought of a proper retirement tour was taken off the table, but that does not seem to weigh in on his sudden change of heart.
“I love playing in front of fans. I think that it’s a crucial part of the game,” he said. “That’s not going to be a dictating factor on if I’m coming back or not though.”
If it was indeed his last showing with the Quakes, his impact was the spark which led to the drama of extra time and penalty kicks. His goal in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time, was good for the conversation to continue, but his cast of penalty takers abruptly ended it by going 0-3.
“I was thinking that in the last 12 years I’ve made the playoffs four times, and you’ve got to cherish these opportunities,” he said.
The last time he helped the Quakes advance beyond the first round of the playoffs, it was in 2010.
“I know some teams it’s a given for them, they know each year they’re going to be competing and it’s how many playoff games they’re going to win, and I’m completely jealous of that,”