The San Jose Earthquakes made a pair of roster moves today, officially announcing the transfer of midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong to Thai Premier League side Buriram United and the contract termination of midfielder Tressor Moreno. The latter is expected to return to his former club Santiago Wanderers of the Chilean Primera Division.
Both players have been active on Twitter describing their travels to Thailand and Chile respectively, so the moves by the Earthquakes were not unexpected. The outright release of Moreno means that the Colombian playmaker MLS rights are no longer the property of San Jose. In the case of Ampaipitakwong’s transfer to Thailand, the Earthquakes will retain his rights should he return to MLS only if the team did not receive any portion of the transfer fee. Per the usual lack of transparency in these matters, information on the value and portioning of that fee is unavailable.
Today’s roster moves, in addition to the late June release of defender Josh Suggs and forward Ellis McLoughlin and the signing of defender Jed Zayner, bring the Earthquakes player roster down to 27 players. Releasing Moreno, who according to the MLS Players Association was due to earn $270,000 in guaranteed compensation this season, frees up space beneath the MLS salary cap as well as an International Roster slot. The move could potentially open up the opportunity for the Earthquakes to sign a second half of the season Designated Player — in much the same way the club brought in Geovanni in 2010.
Another consideration for the Earthquakes brass is to use the salary cap space to start locking in some of the younger talented players on the roster that are approaching the end of their contracts. Both Justin Morrow and Steven Beitashour are in the third year of their four year rookie contracts, and the Earthquakes are likely to want to keep those two defenders on the team for more years to come. The International Roster slot can also act as a trading chip with another MLS club, and could be used to bring in a domestic talent that could contribute to the Earthquakes right away — think Alan Gordon last summer.
The MLS summer transfer window closes at the end of business on July 27, so GM John Doyle and co. still have nearly three weeks to make a move for a player outside of MLS. If the team chooses to trade within the league, the deadline for postseason roster compliance extends until September 14. The Earthquakes have touted roster depth as a major factor for their success this season, and while only Moreno of the recently departed fits into that category, the team would do well to take advantage of the roster spots they have available.
The complete press release on the release of Moreno and transfer of Ampaipitakwong after the break…
Earthquakes Transfer M Anthony Ampaipitakwong to Thai Club Buriram United, Terminate M Tressor Moreno’s Contract
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has transferred midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong to Buriram United of the Thai Premier League and terminated midfielder Tressor Moreno’s contract. Per league and team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Ampaipitakwong made 12 appearances for the Earthquakes in 2011, his rookie campaign. The second-year central midfielder did not suit up for the first team in 2012, but scored one goal and recorded one assist in four games of Reserve League play.
Moreno had three assists in 12 appearances for the Earthquakes in 2012. The Colombian was in his first year with the club.
“Tressor was unhappy with his lack of playing time here and he wanted to leave. We respected his request and decided a mutual parting of ways would be best for both parties,” said Earthquakes general manager John Doyle.
Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) – Earthquakes transfer M Anthony Ampaipitakwong to Buriram United (Thai Premier League) and terminates M Tressor Moreno’s contract.