The San Jose Earthquakes made their official announcement earlier this afternoon that Argentine midfielder Javier Robles has signed with the team. The compact 25 year old has been training with the team since they left for their Arizona camp in early February, as he waited on approval of his contract status with MLS. Per league policy, the details of his contract were not disclosed.
"He's a good all around player that can play wide right, and can play in the middle," said Head Coach Frank Yallop. "He has good feet and a good soccer mind. Also, he's pleased to be here in San Jose and he's settled in very nicely with the team. We expect some very good things from Javier."
Yallop also stated that Robles should fit into the team in a similar fashion to ex-Quake Shea Salinas. While he is not as fleet of foot as Salinas, Robles does display better field awareness on the wings. Additionally, he is not shy about pulling the trigger on his powerful shot, as time and time again in preseason training Robles was a threat to score anywhere within 30+ yards of goal.
"We are not asking him to play defensive, and yet he still gets his tackles in, and his work rate in," said Yallop. "He doesn't appear to be the biggest of players, but he is quick and clean; hopefully he'll settle in well in MLS."
The Argentine started his professional career in his native country with Velez Sarsfield and made his debut in the Argentinean first division with them in 2006. After a stint in Chile, he returned to Argentina with Olimpo de Bahia Blanca in 2008 where he recorded three goals in 18 appearances.
Robles has apparently been on the radar of General Manager John Doyle for some time as a player that could have an impact with the Earthquake. "Javier brings some versatility to us, having the ability to play anywhere in midfield," said Doyle. "He is very creative on the ball, and can help provide a spark to our team."