Cerritos makes his return to San Jose
The San Jose Earthquakes are set for the return of their all-time leading scorer, Ronald Cerritos, after announcing Thursday the forward as the player to be named later in the trade that sent the 48th pick in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft to D.C. United.
"I am very happy to return to San Jose," Cerritos said. "I really like the San Jose area and I enjoy playing in front of the great fans at Spartan Stadium. I also know [head coach] Dominic [Kinnear] and [assistant coach] John [Doyle] well since I played with them, so I feel very comfortable with their style of play."
The 30-year-old Cerritos spent his first five MLS seasons (1997-2001) in San Jose, amassing a club record 148 points on 55 goals and 38 assists. The Salvadoran forward's goal total is also a club record, and he held the assists mark until midfielder Richard Mulrooney surpassed him during the 2004 season. Cerritos was named the team's MVP in each of his first three seasons in the league.
"We would like to welcome Ronald back," Kinnear said. "He will be a great addition to our forward line. He has been a good goalscorer in his career and a fan favorite in San Jose and we are glad to bring him back to where his MLS career started."
Cerritos' impact on the San Jose franchise was immediate upon his arrival as an allocation on March 1, 1997. The forward notched an 11-game point-scoring streak in that first season and concluded the 1997 campaign as the club's leading scorer, the first of four years in which he led the club in scoring.
In addition to helping the Quakes to the 2001 MLS Cup title, Cerritos has earned the honor of three MLS All-Star selections and a spot on the 1997 Best XI. He also stands as the Quakes' all-time leader in game-winning goals (12). In 176 MLS games, Cerritos has compiled totals of 65 goals and 47 assists. His 177 career points place him ninth in MLS history, while his goal total is the seventh highest.
After spending five seasons in the Bay Area, Cerritos was traded to the Dallas Burn in February 2002. He spent one-and-a-half seasons in Dallas before being traded to D.C. United in the middle of the 2003 campaign, and he played for United for just less than a year before returning to El Salvador to play for Alianza FC in June 2004. After his departure, United retained the MLS rights to Cerritos, necessitating Friday's trade.
Jason Halpin is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.