On a day when many will focus on the loss of the longest tenured Earthquakes player, the San Jose brass was active in gaining the services of a former Chivas USA loanee. The Earthquakes selected midfielder Leandro Barrera in the second round of the Chivas USA waiver draft. Barrera, a native of Argentina, played in 32 games for Chivas last season, netting one goal and adding two assists. He seemed to gain momentum in the second half of the season, starting 14 of the Goats' final 15 games.
The Quakes still have to do a little work to secure Barrera's services for the 2015 season. The 23-year old was on loan from Argentinos Juniors this past season, so San Jose have a decision to make. Part of Barrera's 2014 loan deal included an option to buy at the end of the year. It's not clear whether the Quakes intend to exercise that option, or negotiate a new loan deal. Either way, we should know more about San Jose's plans for him soon.
Barrera seems to be a player with plenty of potential, which could be realized in the right hands. Naturally left footed, Barrera is comfortable on his off-wing right side, cutting in for a shot or cross, or on the left. He should see plenty of time in the lineup, rotating with Shea Salinas, and countryman Matías Pérez García in the lineup. Perhaps García will slide into more of a central, second-striker type of role, allowing Barrera to occupy the wing.
Regardless of how Barrera is used, it will be nice for the Earthquakes to have another option on the wing. Besides Salinas, San Jose lacked any natural wingers last season, and were starved for quality service from the flanks. Barrera is not the type of player to make a huge impact right away, but with the right coaching he could come in handy.