The San Jose Earthquakes may finally have found the help they need to, at the very least, stave off total embarrassment in their dismal maiden season in Major League Soccer. A source with knowledge of the deal tells Goal.com that the MLS expansion side has signed former Norwich City striker Darren Huckerby after coming to terms with Toronto FC over the player's rights.
When contacted by SI.com, Earthquakes GM John Doyle declined to comment specifically on Huckerby signing but did say, "Negotiations are ongoing."
Rumors about Huckerby's joining an MLS side began months ago. At that time, TFC slapped the 32-year-old with a "discovery" label, meaning that John Carver had first dibs to his signature.
But, according to the source, Huckerby did not like the idea of playing on the artificial turf at BMO Field, and Toronto began shopping him around. Frank Yallop expressed an interest in bringing him to Buck Shaw Stadium, and Huckerby accompanied Yallop to the Los Angeles-New England match at the Home Depot Center last weekend.
The "discovery" label, however, meant San Jose had to negotiate with TFC for the rights. Unconfirmed speculation is that the Quakes sent allocation money to Toronto for Huckerby's rights.
Huckerby was a long-time regular for the Norwich He scored 39 goals in more than 200 appearances, beginning in 2003. He had seven goals during the Canaries' one year in the Premier League, in 2004-05. Before becoming a mainstay at Carrow Road, he had stints with Coventry City, Leeds, and Manchester City.
Capable of playing either striker or left wing, Huckerby will add some much-needed experience and attacking prowess to an offense that has scored an MLS-low 10 goals in 15 games.
Huckerby will not be available until after the July 15 transfer window opens and after clearing any immigration issues.