Earthquakes Acquire MF Darwin Cerén, Send Matías Pérez García to Orlando City SC, Bring in Jamie O’Hara On Trial
The San Jose Earthquakes have made the first acquisition of the summer transfer window by signing 26 year old El Salvadorian international Darwin Cerén from Orlando City SC in exchange for Matías Pérez García. “We put out a question to Orlando and they came back favorably,” the deal had been in the works for the past couple days according to head coach Dominic Kinnear. Kinnear said that the deal came up as a last minute offer, and was only finalized before training on Wednesday.
Cerén, who’s primary position is central midfield, has made 42 appearances in total between this year and last year for Orlando City SC while tallying 2 goals and 4 assists. Cerén often wears the captains armband for El Salvador, and was also named vice-captain at Orlando City alongside Brazilian legend Kaka.
“He’ll be here tomorrow, I don’t think he’ll be here for practice in the morning, but he’ll be ready for the game” on Friday against NYCFC, said Kinnear.
Cerén covers a lot of ground in the midfield, has an impressive work rate, and can play a great long ball. In 2015, Cerén was ranked 5th in MLS for passes per game, and was also ranked 11th for pass completion percentage and average tackles per game. “I like his tenacity, I think he’s a good passer on the ball,” Kinnear went on. “His attitude from day to day is fantastic.”
The Earthquakes are very strong at the central midfield position with Anibal Godoy, Fatai Alashe, injured Marc Pelosi, and Matheus Silva who is on loan at USL side Arizona United SC. “We want to create some competition there first, and we’ve had Fatai and Godoy both suspended. We’re a bit thin in that position,” Kinnear said of the central midfield position.”
Marc Pelosi, who underwent another procedure yesterday for his chronic tendinitis, will be sidelined for another 2-3 weeks. Kinnear indicated that the team is working with Marc and they are doing everything they can to get him back on the pitch.
Headed to Orlando City SC in exchange for Darwin Cerén, Pérez García will be looking for a better fit with the Lions. The 31 year old attacking midfielder was acquired in 2014 under Mark Watson for $2 million from Tigre, and tallied 3 goals and 9 assists in his 47 games played with the Earthquakes. Pérez García was a regular member of the starting eleven in 2015, but has since fallen out of favor for head coach Dominic Kinnear. One of the other teams reportedely interested in Pérez García was Toronto FC, but the deal fell through in the end. It was unclear what the terms of the Toronto FC deal were. An important part of the deal is that Pérez García will remain on San Jose’s cap space until his contract is up at the end of 2016, so the Quakes will be unable to sign another designated player until after this season.
Since the Quakes have placed Clarence Goodson on their season ending injury list, they were able to acquire salary cap space from Orlando City, which could be the first step to making another signing in the near future.
The Quakes brought in central midfielder Jamie O’Hara on trial, who came up in the Arsenal academy, spent 6 years of his career with Tottenham Hotspur, and played last year for Championship side Fullham. O’Hara is available on free transfer, and reportedly has “interest in the UK,” but has always wanted to play in MLS. O’Hara was a target for the Chicago Fire in 2014, but a deal never came to fruition.
Kinnear chose not to comment on O’Hara’s status with the team and whether or not he will be signed, but did mention that O’Hara could be signed following the end of the MLS Summer Transfer Window which ends Wednesday night. Kinnear also made it clear that the Quakes were in the market for a forward on free transfer as soon as possible.