The San Jose Earthquakes acquired former AC Ajaccio captain Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, right, as they continue to rebuild their midfield. (Laurent Cipriani/AP)
The San Jose Earthquakes are preparing for a makeover, with a new club logo to be released in the coming weeks and a new stadium on the way for the 2015 MLS season. The makeover has extended to their midfield, as well.
The Earthquakes announced the signing of former AC Ajaccio (Ligue 1) captain Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi and traded Marvin Chavez for winger Atiba Harris in a straight player swap on Tuesday, moves that follow the transfer of midfielder Rafael Baca to Mexican side Cruz Azul.
Pierazzi, 28, should slot right into Baca's place in central midfield, while Harris, who has combatted injuries frequently in his eight seasons in MLS, is coming off a 29-game, five-goal campaign with the Colorado Rapids and can man Chavez's void on the wing.
“We had the opportunity to watch Jean-Baptiste play in France and met him in his hometown,” Earthquakes head coach Mark Watson said in a club statement. “He’s excited to come to play in the United States and knows a lot about our team already. He has a great character and has been playing in a top league in Europe for a number of years. We look forward to having him in San Jose.”
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In dealing Chavez, San Jose loses a pace-filled winger, but one who may very well accompany Honduras to the World Cup this summer. Harris, a Saint Kitts and Nevis international, presents no such complication.
“Atiba has been a successful player in this league for a number of years. We’ve always had our eyes on him, and we’re happy to bring him to San Jose,” Watson said.
Chavez had a down year in 2013, accounting for just one goal and one assist in 15 games after a 13-assist campaign in 2013. He has Harris beat on the 2013 highlight reel, though, as he was responsible for this gem of a moment last season (via MLSSoccer.com):