[MLS SPOTLIGHT]Chris Wondolowski, whose 27 goals in 2012 tied the MLS record for goals in a season, is a trailblazer for all American players. He became the first American who has spent his entire career in the league to be rewarded for his efforts with a Designated Player contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but he'll become just the second DP in San Jose history and fourth American to be given a DP contract.
Wondolowski, 30, has led the league or shared the league lead in goals three consecutive years and earned three MLS Best XI selections.
“This is a tremendous honor,” Wondolowski said in a statement. “I want to thank [Quakes GM] John Doyle and our ownership group for getting this deal done. 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.”
The first American to be granted a Designated Player contract was Claudio Reyna with the New York Red Bulls in 2007. Landon Donovan made above the maximum salary, but his contract with the Galaxy was grandfathered in until 2010 when he was made a DP. Freddy Adu, who remains in limbo at the Philadelphia Union, was granted a DP contract when he returned to MLS in 2012.