The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has acquired San Jose product and former Leigh High School star Kelly Gray from the Chicago Fire in exchange for the Quakes 2006 MLS SuperDraft second-round pick. San Jose defender Craig Waibel was placed on the season-ending injury list to create an open roster spot for Gray. Waibel tore both the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) in his right knee on May 10 and underwent surgery on May 17.
"We are very happy to add such a proven MLS player like Kelly Gray to our roster," Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear said. "He is a local guy and we know that he is excited about returning home. He has experienced success in MLS with Chicago and is a good person and a good player who will help the quality of our team."
The addition of the versatile Gray adds to the Earthquakes depth, as the 24-year old has played as a defender, midfielder and forward in his MLS career. The Chicago Fire drafted Gray in the first round of the 2002 MLS SuperDraft with the 5th overall pick out of the University of Portland.
Gray has appeared in 84 games for the Fire, making 68 starts over the last three years, scoring six goals and notching six assists. Gray has one goal in 508 minutes with the Fire so far in 2005.
The former Leigh High School (San Jose) star has spent time in the United States Youth National Team program, earning 51 caps for the U-20's with 12 goals in two years. He also appeared in the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championships in Argentina. Gray most recently played with the Under-23 national team for which he was named captain in 2003 when the U.S. team traveled to Portugal to play in the Madeira International Tournament.
Gray was a four year starter at Leigh High School and a two-time all-league selection there, in addition to playing club soccer for the Los Gatos Metro, coached by former San Jose star Paul Bravo.