San Jose Earthquakes sign former MLS Best XI defender Wade Barrett to multi-year deal

SAN JOSE - The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has signed defender Wade Barrett to a multi-year deal, bringing the former Major League Soccer star back to his original team. Barrett played five seasons in San Jose from 1998-2002 before departing to play with AGF Aarhus in the Danish Superleague in 2003. Barrett played in 2004 for Norway's Fredrikstad Football Club (FFK) before rejoining the Quakes, who continued to hold his MLS rights.

The Earthquakes originally drafted Barrett in the first round of the 1998 College Draft out of The College of William & Mary, and Barrett quickly established himself as a skilled and tenacious midfielder and defender. Barrett emerged as a vital player for the Quakes in their run to the 2001 MLS Cup, and in 2002 enjoyed a true breakout season.

"We are happy to bring Wade back to San Jose," said Earthquakes Head Coach Dominic Kinnear. "He was a very good player for San Jose for five seasons (1998-2002) and we feel that his addition will make us a better team going into the 2005 season."

From 1998-2000, Barrett played mostly in the midfield, but with the arrival of Frank Yallop and Dominic Kinnear as coaches in 2001, he moved to left back, where he became one of the best defenders in the league. In 2001, he appeared in 24 of 26 games, scoring one goal and recording six assists, while also helping the Quakes allow a club-record low 29 goals.

"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."

In 2002, Barrett played every minute of every game for San Jose and tied a career high with six assists. He was recognized for his efforts with his first trip to the MLS All-Star Game, and was named the Quakes Defensive Player of the Year while also earning a place on the MLS Best XI. Barrett also earned his first cap with the United States National Team against El Salvador in November of that year.

Following his successful five-year run in MLS, Barrett joined Aarhus, where he quickly solidified a place in the defense of the Danish club. He played in 19 games in the 2003-04 season for Aarhus, before being loaned to Norway's Fredrikstad Football Club for the 2004 season.

Barrett returns to the Quakes aiming to continue to improve upon his already successful career in San Jose. The 28-year old Virginia native is still amongst the Quakes all-time leaders in several statistical categories. Barrett remains sixth in all-time assists (22), eighth in all-time appearances (112), fifth in all-time games started (106) and fifth in all-time minutes played (9,554).