The San Jose Earthquakes continued their busy offseason on Friday, landing star attacker Marvin Chávez from FC Dallas for allocation money.
Chávez enjoyed a breakout year for FC Dallas in 2011, starting a career-high 30 games and notching six goals and four assists while helping lead FCD to the postseason for the second consecutive year. He also scored the decisive goal in FCD's historic 1-0 victory at Pumas UNAM in the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League back in August, the first-ever victory by an MLS side in Mexico in any competition.
The speedy Chávez played a vital part in FC Dallas' run to MLS Cup in 2010, when he appeared in 16 regular-season games and all four in the playoffs. He assisted on FCD’s only goal in a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids in MLS Cup, scorching a cross to the foot of David Ferreira to put FCD on the board in the 35th minute.
Chávez, 28, has also become a regular contributor for the Honduran national team of late, notching a total of 23 caps with Los Catrachos since his debut in 2006. He declined a call-up to play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer while citing duties for his club, but he came on in the latter stages of a 1-0 loss to the United States in an international friendly in Miami in October.
The diminutive attacker almost certainly takes over as the top option to man the right midfield spot for the Quakes, who used a platoon of players there en route to missing the postseason in 2011. Chris Wondolowski has manned the spot frequently before, but the addition of Chávez now likely gives head coach Frank Yallop the luxury of pushing the team’s leading scorer up top exclusively.
“Marvin is one of the most exciting players in MLS," San Jose GM John Doyle said in a statement. "I can’t wait to see him in an Earthquakes uniform."
The Quakes have been one of the most active teams this offseason, and their midfield will likely look almost entirely different in 2012 than it did this year. They’ve added Jean Alexandre and Shea Salinas and shipped Bobby Convey out via trade, all in hopes of regaining the form that led them to a berth in the Eastern Conference Championship in 2010.
FC Dallas, meanwhile, have already shipped midfielder/defender Jeremy Hall to Toronto FC this offseason, and head coach Schellas Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com last week they’ll likely look elsewhere for help up top instead of re-signing striker Maicon Santos for 2012.
“Marvin was always an outstanding player and we certainly will miss him, but this move allows us to better balance our team,” Hyndman said in a statement on Friday. “We are losing a solid player, but it’s for the overall benefit of the team. We can strengthen our team in both our back line as well as up front where we really missed having that player who could finish the plays we generated up front last season.”
WATCH: Chávez shows his skill