By CAITLIN MURRAY
The San Jose Earthquakes are continuing their off-season rebuilding with two big midfield moves.
The Earthquakes have acquired Atiba Harris from the Colorado Rapids for midfielder Marvin Chavez and made the signing of French midfielder Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi official, the club announced Tuesday.
The trade with Colorado is a swap of midfielders where Chavez had fallen out of favor with the Quakes while Harris is coming off a solid first season for the Rapids. Chavez played just 15 games last year due to injury, suspensions and national team duty for Honduras, recording one assist all season. Harris had tallied five goals and one assist in 29 appearances.
“Atiba has been a successful player in this league for a number of years,” Earthquakes coach Mark Watson said in a statement. “We’ve always had our eyes on him and we’re happy to bring him to San Jose.”
Harris has 27 caps for the national team of Saint Kitts and Nevis, but has a permanent U.S. resident card and won’t count as an international player for the Quakes.
The signing of Pierazzi, 28, will be another boost to the midfield. Known as a defensive midfielder, he was part of the AC Ajaccio squad that moved up to France’s top division, Ligue 1, in 2010. AC Ajaccio is the only club Pierazzi has played with, having joined in 2006.
The signings will help fill the vacancy left by midfielder Rafael Baca, who joined Mexican club Cruz Azul last month.
How is the Earthquakes roster shaping up for 2014? What will Harris and Pierazzi bring to the team? Are San Jose’s recent moves enough to improve performance?
Share your thoughts below.