Quakes sign Honduran Bernardez to bolster back line

Honduran international Victor Bernardez.

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San Jose certainly haven’t been afraid to shuffle the deck this offseason, and that trend hasn’t slowed just because of the holiday season.

The Earthquakes announced on Wednesday that the club has signed Honduran international center back Víctor Bernárdez, pending receipt of his P-1 Visa. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Víctor gives us another quality player in the center of our defense,” head coach Frank Yallop said in a statement. “He’s a big, tough, athletic defender who can also play well with his feet and distribute the ball. We’re excited to have him in the squad next season.”

Bernárdez, 29, spent the last three seasons on the books at Belgian club Anderlecht alongside American Sasha Kljestan, appearing in 22 games with the Mauves before embarking on loan stints at Lierse SK (Belgium) and Indios de Ciudad Juárez (Mexico) in 2011.

He has also appeared in 52 games for Honduras, including a 90-minute shift in the side’s 0-0 draw against Switzerland at the 2010 World Cup. The 6-foot-2 defender started his career at hometown club CDS Vida in 2003 before moving on to Motagua and eventually Anderlecht.

He figures to compete for the starting job right away, and should help replace Bobby Burling’s physical presence after the defender was taken by Montreal in the Expansion Draft.

“We’ve scouted Víctor for several years,” Earthquakes general manager John Doyle said in a press release. “We saw him play at the CONCACAF Gold Cup and were very impressed with his game. He’s a great addition to the offseason we’ve had so far and we look forward to having him in San Jose."

Bernárdez's signing is the latest move in a busy offseason for San Jose. The Quakes have also acquired Shea Salinas, Jean Alexandre and Marvin Chávez in trades and re-signed forward Steven Lenhart.