Earthquakes honor Chris Wondolowski with a street in his name

Willie McCovey has a cove named in his honor in San Francisco. Now Chris Wondolowski, the Bay Area’s greatest men’s soccer player, has a street.

The San Jose Earthquakes announced Thursday they have renamed Champions Way adjacent to their stadium to Wondo Way. The Bay Area News Group reported a year ago the name change was in progress with the city of San Jose.

“I always have and always will be part of the San Jose community,” Wondolowski said in a statement. “It’s who I am. It’s amazing to now be permanently intertwined with it.”

Wondo Way joins another new name as the Earthquakes prepare for the 2021 season that begins April 16 at Houston. The team announced a naming-rights deal last week to call its stadium PayPal Park.

Wondolowski, 38, returned for one more season as the Quakes’ captain and inspiration. He expects to expand his record as Major League Soccer’s all-time leading scorer with 166 goals. The street uses the affectionate nickname teammates and fans call the Danville native — Wondo.

“Wondo is a legend for the San Jose Earthquakes and Major League Soccer,” Earthquakes chief operating officer Jared Shawlee said in a statement. “Wondo Way is the primary walkway that fans use to get to and from PayPal Park, so it’s a special symbol for us to honor the connection he has built with Quakes fans throughout his career.”

Wondolowski, who came to MLS in 2005 out of Chico State and De La Salle High School, holds the league record for the most goals for one club (162), game-winning goals (45), and goals in 1-0 victories (14).

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He is a five-time All-Star selection (2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2019), two-time Golden Boot Award winner (2010, 2012).

Wondolowski had planned to retire last season but the COVID-19 pandemic forced MLS to have an abbreviated schedule. Wondolowski said he proved to himself that he could still compete at a high level and worked out a deal with management to return this year.

The Quakes and the league are expected to honor him throughout his final season.

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The Quakes also announced Thursday that NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California will televise 26 matches this season. Games also can be heard on KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF, with select matches on KNBR 680.

The broadcast crew of Anthony Passarelli, Chris Dangerfield and Danielle Slaton return for the sixth season together.

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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