The San Jose Earthquakes announced earlier today that midfielder Shea Salinas and defender Jordan Stewart had been signed to new contracts ahead of the 2014 MLS season. As is team and league policy, the terms of the contracts were not made available.
Salinas led the Quakes last season with eight assists -- a career-high for the six-year MLS veteran -- in 28 appearances, 24 of those starts. The speedy winger also tallied two goals in 2013, matching a career-high he set in his rookie season. Salinas was the first-ever draft pick by the new Earthquakes, as he was selected with the first pick of the second round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. The 27-year old midfielder is entering the fifth year of his career as a member of the Quakes.
Stewart joined the Earthquakes during the 2013 summer transfer window and made 12 appearances over the last half of the season, in which San Jose complied a 7-2-3 record with seven shutouts. Stewart also appeared in one CONCACAF Champions League game, the 1-0 victory over C.D. Heredia that secured the group and advancement to this year's knockout rounds. The Birmingham, England native first announced his new contract back in November via his Twitter account, but it took until today for the Earthquakes to make it official. The 31-year old defender had made appearances with 10 other clubs prior to joining the Quakes.
Both Salinas and Stewart were valuable members of the squad during the Earthquakes late season push to qualify for the postseason. Though the team did come up short, losing out to the Colorado Rapids on the last playoff spot via a tiebreaker, the turnaround from the first half of the season was tremendous. Because the two players were so effective as catalysts on offense and defense, the Quakes saw fit to part with early season starters Justin Morrow and Marvin Chavez this past offseason.
The number of players currently on the 2014 roster, currently at 25, does not change with the signings as Salinas and Stewart are holdovers from 2013. The up-to five remaining spots on the roster will be contested over the remainder of the Earthquakes preseason training camp.