San Jose Earthquakes all-time scoring leader Ronald Cerritos returns in trade with D.C. United
SAN JOSE - The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has acquired forward Ronald Cerritos from D.C. United as the player to be named later in a trade completed on Friday, Jan. 14. The Earthquakes received Cerritos in exchange for a fourth round draft pick (48th overall) in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft. The three-time MLS All-Star returns to San Jose where he spent five seasons from 1997-2001, scoring a club record 55 goals and registering 38 assists."We would like to welcome Ronald back," Earthquakes head coach Dominic 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, 30, appeared in ten games with D.C. United in 2004, scoring two goals and tallying an assist before leaving the club on June 21, 2004 to join Alianza FC in El Salvador. Following Cerritos' departure from the league, D.C. United retained the forward's MLS rights.
"Ronald is a proven goalscorer in this league and a crowd favorite." Earthquakes President & General Manager Alexi Lalas said.
The native of San Salvador, El Salvador was originally allocated to San Jose on March 1, 1997 and immediately made an impact in MLS, as he scored a point in 11 consecutive games in 1997. He also led San Jose in scoring in four of his first five seasons while helping the club win the 2001 MLS Cup. Cerritos began his distinguished MLS career by being named to the MLS Best XI squad in 1997 and earning three San Jose Honda Most Valuable Player awards (1997, 1998, 1999), while making the MLS All-Star team in 1997, 1999 and 2001. Cerritos remains the Earthquakes all-time leader in several statistical categories, including goals (55), points (148), game-winning goals (12), shots (277) and points per game (1.25).
"I am very happy to return to San Jose," said Cerritos. "I really like the San Jose area and I enjoy playing in front of the great fans at Spartan Stadium. I also know Dominic and John (Doyle) well since I played with them, so I feel very comfortable with their style of play."
In his eight-season MLS career, Cerritos has played a total of 176 games, scoring 65 goals and registering 47 assists, despite only playing in nine games during the 2000 season due to a right quadriceps injury. His 177 career points place him ninth all-time in scoring in MLS history and he is seventh all-time in goals scored.
A key member of El Salvador's National Team since 1995, Cerritos was traded by the Quakes to the Dallas Burn prior to the 2002 season, where he played 38 games in 2002-2003, scoring seven goals and registering seven assists before joining D.C. United in a trade during the 2003 season. From 2003-2004, Cerritos appeared a total of 20 times for United, scoring three goals and registering two assists.
Cerritos began his professional career with ADET of the El Salvadoran First Division prior to coming to San Jose on loan in 1997. Cerritos' contract was purchased by MLS in 1998.