SAN JOSE -- The Earthquakes plan to keep star striker Chris Wondolowski in San Jose for the bulk of his career.

Wondolowski, 30, signed a four-year deal making him the team's second "designated player" in history, the Quakes announced Tuesday.

The Danville native who was not recruited to play soccer at a Division 1 school doubled his salary to $600,000. The so-called designated player rule allows teams to sign up to three established players over the salary cap limit, which was $350,000 last year.

"I wouldn't want to be anywhere else," said Wondolowski, who made $300,000 last season according to MLS Players Union figures. "I love the organization, I love where they're headed."

The Earthquakes are headed into the 2013 season Sunday night at Buck Shaw Stadium with the league's most prolific scorer. Wondolowski tied the Major League Soccer goal-scoring record of 27 last season when he was voted the most valuable player. His 61 regular-season goals from 2010-12 are the most for any player in MLS history over a three-year period.

"Hopefully one day there is a statute outside the stadium for him," coach Frank Yallop said of the Quakes' new facility expected to open in 2014.

Wondolowski negotiated the contract without using an agent for the third consecutive year. He wanted a multiyear contract instead of looking for a one-time big payday. Wondolowski said he was prepared to hire an agent if he wasn't sure about the negotiations.


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The agreement also doomed a potential deal with English midfielder John Bostock, who returned to Tottenham Hotspur after a two-week audition.

"Signing Bostock would have taken all of our cap," Yallop said. "With the injuries we have right now, it was just too big of a gamble for us" to spend money on an unproven player.

Wondolowski, a De La Salle-Concord graduate who played at Chico State, hopes more homegrown players earn designated player status.

"These are the players who are making it and proving themselves," he said of American stars in MLS. "Sometimes they've been too quick giving foreign players DP money that aren't accustomed to the league and it doesn't quite work out."

Quakes forward Alan Gordon said Wondolowski deserved even more money than he will get but appreciates how the star is team-oriented.

"He's not chasing money," Gordon said. "He doesn't need too much, he doesn't want too much. It leaves room to pay some of our other guys."

Wondolowski, who trained with the U.S. national team last month, listed his primary goal this season as winning the MLS Cup. Despite a record-setting individual performance last year Wondolowski ended the season unhappy because San Jose fell to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Western Conference semifinals.

"For me I want to be as versatile as I can and continue to grow as a player, whether it's up top to score goals, or get some assists or play defense," he said.

New striker Mike Fucito has been impressed by his teammate's attitude during the preseason.

"When seeing a Chris Wondolowski busting his butt and working hard, if not harder than you, it makes you want to play for each other even more," he said.

  • Comcast SportsNet will televise 29 of the Earthquakes' regular-season games, with the other five being broadcast nationally. Jim Kozimor will handle the play-by-play with former Quakes defender Kelly Gray doing the color. Dan Dibley is the sideline reporter for home matches.

    Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.

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