The San Jose Earthquakes have signed Mexican midfielder Rafael Baca to a contract according to the rookie out of Loyola Marymount. Sources with the team verified the information regarding Baca, and revealed that a formal announcement will be made at a later time. Per league policy, details of the player contract will not be made available.
“I am glad the process is done with,” shared Baca after Quakes training on Friday morning. “It was a challenge, but we are done with that and have everything sorted out.”
Baca had been training with the team since early in the preseason. A non-drafted invitee by the Earthquakes, the midfielder saw action in a number of preseason games as well as the first couple MLS Reserve League matches. He returned to Mexico in late spring to complete the paperwork required for his work permit, before coming back to San Jose this week. With Baca being added to the roster, he will immediately become available, and could make his Earthquake debut in the match day 18 against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.
“I was training while in Mexico for a couple weeks with Vera Cruz and the last few days with Atlas,” said Baca when asked what he has ready to play. “Not on trial, but so I was able to keep fit. Now I need to take it one step further to getting myself game fit.”
Baca played in the middle and on the wings during the preseason, before settling in at right midfielder during the Reserve League and in team scrimmages. Given, the difficulties head coach Frank Yallop has had in finding stability at that position, the opportunity for Baca to earn playing time with the first team is there.
(Photo: Loyola Marymount Athletics)