How the deadline day trade of Matias Perez-Garcia for Darwin Cerén went down, how it will affect Dominic Kinnear’s side and what it means for the Quakes’ future transfer deals.
Yesterday, San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Marc Pelosi had an injection in his tendon area to treat chronic tendonitis and quell inflammation. Having already been sidelined for months, this latest setback will keep him out for another two to three weeks before the team can reevaluate his situation.
Within hours of the procedure, the Quakes had fired up the transfer mill and begun seeking a replacement. Just over twenty-four hours later, they traded designated player Matias Perez-Garcia for Orlando City midfielder Darwin Cerén. The move kills multiple birds with one stone but first and foremost it provides the team immediate relief in the central midfield.
The move came together in the final hours of Major League Soccer’s transfer window, with conversations taking place between Quakes manager John Doyle and Orlando head coach Jason Kreis.
“We just put out a question to Orlando, they came back favorably and we worked out a deal,” Quakes head coach Dominic Kinnear told reporters in a conference call. The Quakes had already been scouting the market for a midfielder but Kinnear admitted that the deal wouldn’t have happened if not for Pelosi’s injury.
“We weren’t exactly targeting Darwin, but everybody agreed they liked him when his name came up,” Kinnear said. “I like his tenacity…he covers a lot of ground and is a good tackler. He closes space down really well and but is also a very good passer of the ball.”
Here are a few brief examples of what he can bring to the Quakes:
The trade will also pave the way for another impending acquisition for the Quakes this season. Along with Cerén, they will also get salary cap relief from Orlando, which can be traded due to the season ending injuries of Steven Lenhart and Clarence Goodson.
Garcia’s exit will also open up a designated player spot and significant cap space — per the MLS Player’s Union, Cerén earns a base salary of $150,000 — although that will not affect the team until next season. The club also traded Adam Jahn to the Houston Dynamo earlier in the week for targeted allocation money, which can also be allocated towards designated players.
“Colombus called us regarding Adam and I thought that if a team is calling for someone that isn’t getting regular playing time here and there’s a better opportunity for him elsewhere, we’re definitely going to listen,” Kinnear said.
That said, the Quakes will not sign another player while the transfer window is still open, meaning their business is limited to free agents in the near-term. Interestingly, Fulham midfielder Jamie O’Hara, who has been on trial with the club this week, fits all those criteria.
However, it appears unlikely that the Quakes will sign yet another midfielder, and all Kinnear would say regarding the team’s future transfer deals is that they’re in the market for a forward and are hoping to get something done before the end the season.
Of more immediate importance, Cerén will fly to San Jose on Thursday afternoon and will be available to play in the club’s key match against New York City FC at Avaya Stadium on Friday night. He last appeared for Orlando as a late substitute against the New England revolution over the weekend and should be fit for Friday’s clash.
“We’ll see if he starts [over the course of the season], it all depends on availability,” said Kinnear. “He’s played a lot of games for Orlando and we think he is a starter in this league. We have two guys in there that we feel comfortable with but we want competition in those areas. I can’t say he is going to start right away but he will be playing, that’s for sure.”