The San Jose Earthquakes received some good news today in terms of their player roster flexibility as midfielders Marvin Chavez and Mehdi Ballouchy have been granted U.S. Permanent Residency cards and will no longer take up international slots. To date, the status changes to Chavez and Ballouchy mean the Earthquakes have only used two of their seven international slots — Rafael Baca and Victor Bernanrdez.
Chavez, a native of Honduras, has been playing in MLS since 2009. He spent three seasons with FC Dallas before being traded to the Earthquakes prior to last season. In 2012, Chavez recorded a career-high 13 assists and added 3 goals as the Quakes shattered all manner of club scoring records. Along with teammate Bernardez, Chavez is a regular call-up to the Honduran National Team and will be busy this year trying to help his team qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Ballouchy was born in Morocco and immigrated to the United States as a teenager. He played high school soccer at Gunn High School in Palo Alto and eventually college soccer at Santa Clara University — playing in the same stadium, Buck Shaw Stadium, that the Earthquakes now call home. Ballouchy started his MLS career in 2006 with Real Salt Lake and has since had stops in Colorado and New York. Ballouchy was traded to San Jose last summer and appeared in 6 games for the Earthquakes before suffering a season-ending ACL injury on September 29. He is currently undergoing rehabilitation and is expected back for the 2013 season.