The San Jose Earthquakes first played in the MLS in 1996. After 10 seasons, the club relocated to Houston before the 2005 season, and a new expansion team was brought back to the Bay Area in 2008. The club has won two MLS Cups and two Supporters’ Shields during its history. Who are some of the best players to play for San Jose? Read on to find out.
Top 10 Best San Jose Earthquakes Players of All Time
- Chris Wondolowski
- Ronald Cerritos
- Shea Salinas
- Landon Donovan
- Jackson Yueill
- Cristian Espinoza
- Joe Cannon
- Richard Mulrooney
- Jeff Agoos
- Dwayne De Rosario
1. Chris Wondolowski
- 2012 MLS MVP
- Three-time MLS top scorer
- Two-time Supporters’ Shield winner
Chris Wondolowski joined the San Jose Earthquakes for the 2005 season. Wondolowski is the best goal-scorer in MLS history, as well as a three-time league top goal-scorer. The center-forward won his first of two Supporters’ Shields in his first season with the Earthquakes. After the Earthquakes relocated, Wondolowski played in Houston for four years before rejoining San Jose. He became a full-time player in 2010 and led the MLS with 18 goals. Wondolowski once again led the league in goals in the following two seasons, scoring 16 and 27 goals in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The forward won the 2012 MLS MVP Award as well as his second Supporters’ Shield.
Wondolowski scored double-digit goals in each season between 2010 and 2019. He retired after the 2021 season and ended his career as the best goal-scorer in MLS history. Through 401 appearances for San Jose, Wondolowski scored 176 goals, both of which are more than any other player in the history of the Earthquakes.
2. Ronald Cerritos
- 2001 MLS champion
- 2004 Supporters’ Shield winner
- Second-most goals in San Jose history
Ronald Cerritos first played for the San Jose Earthquakes in 1997 after playing in El Salvador. Cerritos won multiple awards with the club and scored the second-most goals in the club’s history. The center-forward led San Jose in goals scored during each of his first three seasons at the club. Cerritos had 19 goal contributions in 1997 and 22 goal contributions in 1998 and 1999.
In 2001, the Salvadoran had 11 goals and helped the club win the 2001 MLS Cup. Cerritos left the club after that season, but he rejoined San Jose for one year in 2005. He played two more seasons in the MLS before retiring. The forward had 13 goal contributions that year and helped the Earthquakes win the Supporters’ Shield. Cerritos played 160 games for the club, and his 64 goals were the second-most in the club’s history.
3. Shea Salinas
- 2012 Supporters’ Shield winner
- Most assists in San Jose history
- Second-most games in San Jose history
Shea Salinas was drafted in the second round of the 2008 MLS Draft by the San Jose Earthquakes. Salinas leads the club in assists and has played the second-most games in club history. The left winger played in two seasons with the club before playing one year in Philadelphia and the following year in Vancouver. Salinas rejoined the Earthquakes in 2012 and helped the club win the Supporters’ Shield that year.
The winger had six or more goal contributions in each season between 2012 and 2016. He had a career-best six goals and nine goal contributions in 2019 as well. Salinas retired after the 2022 season, finishing off his 13-year career with the club. He played in 351 games across all competitions with San Jose, which is the second-most in club history. Salinas’ 50 assists are also the most by any player for the Earthquakes.
4. Landon Donovan
- Two-time MLS champion
- 2003 Player of the Year
- Third-most goals in San Jose history
Landon Donovan joined the San Jose Earthquakes in 2001 after starting his pro career in Germany. Donovan played in four seasons for the club and won two MLS Cups with the team. The second striker won his first MLS championship in 2001 as an 18-year-old. His second MLS Cup came in 2003. Donovan had seven goals and seven assists during his first season in San Jose.
The forward had his best season with the Earthquakes in 2003, as he scored 12 goals and added four assists. Donovan was also named the Player of the Year for that campaign. In his final season with the club, the forward contributed six goals and seven assists. Donovan left San Jose after the 2004 season and enjoyed a long career in the MLS as well as in Europe. Across all competitions, Donovan played in 101 games and scored 42 goals while adding 28 assists. The forward ranks third and sixth all-time for goals and assists, respectively, in the history of the Earthquakes.
5. Jackson Yueill
- Fifth-most games in San Jose history
- Two top-ten finishes in passes into the final third in MLS
- Current captain of the Earthquakes
Jackson Yueill was drafted sixth overall in the 2017 MLS Draft by the San Jose Earthquakes. Yueill has served as captain of the squad and has played the fifth-most games in the club’s history. The central midfielder is used more for his defensive style of play and is a key facilitator for San Jose.
His best offensive season for the Earthquakes came in 2019, when the 21-year-old scored three goals and had four assists. Yueill also finished third in the MLS in passes into the final third for that season. The midfielder also ranked seventh in 2020 in the same category. He has 13 goals and 12 assists throughout his career with San Jose. Yueill’s 180 appearances across all competitions are the fifth-most in the club’s history.
6. Cristian Espinoza
- Second-most assists in San Jose history
- Five straight seasons of double-digit goal contributions
- Three top-ten most goal-creating actions in MLS
Cristian Espinoza joined the San Jose Earthquakes in 2019 after playing professionally in Argentina and Spain since 2015. Espinoza is one of the most explosive offensive talents to have played for the club and is second in the club’s history in assists. The right winger made two goals and 10 assists during his first season with the Earthquakes. Espinoza has had double-digit goal contributions in each of the five seasons that he has played for the club. The Argentinian also led the MLS in progressive carries and finished ninth with 18 goal-creating actions in 2019.
Espinoza placed in the top 10 for progressive carries again in 2020, and he placed in the top 10 for goal-creating actions two more times, including ranking first in 2020. The winger is still with the club and has appeared in 147 matches. Espinoza’s 42 assists are the second-most by a player in San Jose’s history.
7. Joe Cannon
- 2001 MLS champion
- Most games by a goalkeeper in San Jose history
- Three seasons with double-digit wins
Joe Cannon joined the San Jose Earthquakes for the 1999 season after playing in college in California. Cannon was the goalkeeper for the club’s first-ever MLS Cup and has played the most games by a goalkeeper in club history. He made his debut for the Earthquakes at 24 years old and won 14 games in 24 appearances. Cannon’s best season with the club came in 2001 when he helped San Jose win its first MLS Cup. The goaltender had 13 wins and his best save percentage at the club at 79.1% in 2001. Cannon won another 13 games in 2002 and led the MLS with eight clean sheets.
After leaving the club for a few seasons, Cannon returned to San Jose in 2008. The goalie won 14 games and posted 12 clean sheets over the 2008 and 2009 campaigns. His final season with the club came in 2010 when he started just 12 games. Cannon appeared in 179 matches for the Earthquakes, which is the most by a goaltender in club history.
8. Richard Mulrooney
- Two-time MLS champion
- 2004 most minutes in MLS
- Fifth-most assists in San Jose history
Richard Mulrooney was the third overall pick in the 1999 MLS Draft by the San Jose Earthquakes. Mulrooney helped the club win multiple MLS Cups and was a full-time starter for six years. The defensive midfielder made three goal contributions during his first season with the club in 1999. He had five or more goal contributions in each of the following five seasons for San Jose, including a career-best seven goal contributions in 2004.
Mulrooney helped the club win the 2001 MLS Cup while starting 21 games. The midfielder won the championship again in 2003 with the Earthquakes. In the following season, Mulrooney played in every single minute during the MLS regular season to lead the league in the category. That was his last season with the club, though he played seven more years in the MLS before retiring. Mulrooney played in 174 games for the Earthquakes, which is the eighth-most for a player in the club’s history. The midfielder’s 28 assists are also the fifth-most in San Jose’s history.
9. Jeff Agoos
- Two-time MLS champion
- 2001 MLS Defender of the Year
- 14 goal contributions
Jeff Agoos began playing in the MLS in 1996 and won three MLS Cups with D.C. United before joining San Jose in 2001. Agoos won a Defender of the Year Award and two more MLS Cups in his four seasons with the Earthquakes. The left-back won the 2001 Defender of the Year Award as well as the 2001 MLS Cup in his first season with the club. Agoos once again won the MLS Cup in 2003 with San Jose. The defender had four goal contributions in three of the four MLS seasons he played with the club.
That was his final season with the Earthquakes, as Agoos played in one final season for the MetroStars in 2005 before calling it a career. In 98 appearances across all competitions, the defender tallied seven goals and seven assists during his four-year tenure with San Jose.
10. Dwayne De Rosario
- Two-time MLS champion
- 2005 Supporters’ Shield winner
- Fourth-most goals in San Jose history
Dwayne De Rosario joined the San Jose Earthquakes prior to the 2001 MLS season. De Rosario won multiple trophies with the club and ranks fourth for the club in goal scoring. The attacking midfielder won his first of two MLS Cups for San Jose in 2001, with the other one coming in 2003. He added a Supporters’ Shield to his trophy collection in 2005 as well. The Canadian player had seven goal contributions in three of his first four seasons in the league. De Rosario also had 10 goal contributions in 2002 and 16 goal contributions in 2005.
The midfielder followed the team during its relocation after the 2005 season and enjoyed a successful 14-year career in the MLS. He even won an MLS MVP Award in 2011 while playing for Toronto F.C. De Rosario scored 30 goals during his tenure with the Earthquakes, which places him fourth all-time in the club’s history.
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