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Chris Wondolowski: “I don’t think I’m done”

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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,”

Comments

  1. It is hard to claim that Wondo cannot contribute. In his latest game, in the closing minutes, he put a header on frame that the keeper did very well to push wide and in the closing seconds he went low to head a nice cross into the net to tie the game. When almost all the players who started the game appeared to be dragging and slow to react, Wondo was active, constantly moving to be ready to receive the ball and was quicker to the ball than the defense.

    He continues to be a guy who is active throughout the game and his movement either tires defenders who are trying to mark him or tests the defenders concentration so that he gets good chances.

    He rarely was given a full game for the USMNT so that he could wear defenders down for a full 90 minutes. He did make a bad miss versus Belgium in substitute role, something that happens to even the best goal-scorers, but he was in position to get the chance. In USMNT camps other players commented that he just could not stop scoring goals in training. In 2009 until now, he routinely scored more goals in MLS than any other US player and was nearly always near the top in that list.

    He seems to still have the drive to compete, it would seem odd to me if he were to retire now.

    Reply
  2. Tension and emotions are still running high Wondo. He was very emotional after the loss which is testament to his passion for this game. Even at retirement age of 37 he is more durable, more productive, stayed healthier and scored more goals than Jozy Altiore in the past 5-6 years (USMNT TOP STRIKER according to SBI)…..but I think its time to hang up the cleats and join San Jose in a management or administrative capacity. Its better to go out as a relevant/regular starter with the Quakes than to have teams start passing him around the league until he fades away from game. The legacy is sealed…..

    1. As of September 28, 2019, The only player in league history to have scored ten or more goals in ten consecutive seasons
    2. holds the record for most MLS goals on the road and MLS game winning goals (both home and away)
    3. The highest scorer in the competition’s history
    4. The only player in league history to score 150 or more regular-season goals

    Respect!! ….but I think its enough

    Reply
    • Maybe Wondo doesn’t really care about “going out on top”. His personality seems like someone who would love to stay in the game as long as possible if he’s healthy enough. Remember- Wondo was basically a reserve player who didn’t even get MLS playing time until he was 26. He had to earn it the hard way by scoring tons of goals for the reserve squad until they gave him a shot on the first team. He will keep playing as long as he feels competitive (and healthy enough), and at least gets a chance off the bench. Legend!

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    • For much of the season he wasn’t a regular starter. I think he would have easily gotten 10+ goals if he got more playing time. Buy, Almyeda signed Andy Rios who took Wondo’s spot early in the season and that was probably a mistake given how things turned out.

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