Official Earthquakes release
Another former San Jose Earthquakes star is back in blue as defender Wade Barrett has rejoined the club just a month after the team brought forward Ronald Cerritos back into the fold. Barrett spent the past two years spent playing in Denmark and Norway, and he released by Danish club AGF Århus in late 2004.
"I am really excited and happy to be going back to the Earthquakes and the Bay Area," Barrett said. "I had a fantastic time when I was there for my first five years and I feel that I have grown as a player over the last two years in Europe. I am just thrilled to be coming back to play in San Jose, and hopefully win another championship."
Barrett played in San Jose from 1998 to 2002 and steadily became one of the best defenders in MLS, helping the club to its first MLS Cup title in 2001. His rising star hit its apex on the domestic front in 2002, when Barrett played every minute of the season for the Quakes. He was named to the MLS Best XI and a place in the MLS All-Star Game, as well as being selected the Earthquakes' Defensive Player of the Year.
That same year, Barrett earned his first and only U.S. national team cap to date in a November match-up against El Salvador at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
After 112 appearances with San Jose, in which he tallied five goals and 22 assists, Barrett opted to leave MLS after the 2004 season and sign with Århus. He spent more than a year in Denmark and then went out on loan to Frederikstad of Norway for the latter part of 2004 prior to being released.
In December, Quakes coach Dominic Kinnear said he had been considering re-acquiring Barrett, pointing out that the club didn't want to see him go in 2002.
Barrett's return marks the latest step in the overhaul of the Quakes' roster. At the close of the 2004 season, several veterans made their departures, including captain and defensive stalwart Jeff Agoos and talented young defender Todd Dunivant. Other team leaders like Landon Donovan, Ronnie Ekelund and Richard Mulrooney have also departed in the offseason, and Barrett - along with fellow defender Troy Dayak and goalkeeper Pat Onstad - could help provide some leadership at the back and in general.
Barrett is the second former Earthquake to be reunited with the club this offseason. Cerritos, San Jose's all-time leading goalscorer, was acquired on draft day in a trade with D.C. United.
Jason Halpin is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.