Finally making official what was reported at the start of preseason camp, the San Jose Earthquakes signed midfielders Leandro Barrera and Sanna Nyassi and defender Marvell Wynne. As is MLS policy, details of the deals were not announced. The three players will fill important roles for the 2015 season, and all are competing to get into the starting line-up.
Barrera, a 23-year-old native of Argentina, joins the Earthquakes following his selection in the MLS Wavier Draft last December. The former Chivas USA winger, who tormented Quakes defender Pablo Pintos in the now-defunct LA team's 1-0 victory over San Jose in its last MLS game, was on loan in 2014. Prior to his one season with Chivas, Barrera played for six seasons with Aregentinos Juniors of the Argentine First Division. He played in 32 of 34 games for Chivas USA last year, scoring one goal and recording 2 assists.
Nyassi has played for four different clubs in his six seasons in MLS. The 26-year-old was selected by San Jose in Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft with an eye toward increasing team speed. The Gambian International claims 16 goals and 13 assists in his MLS career with his best season coming in 2011 with the Colorado Rapids.
Wynne, who has played nine MLS seasons, the last five with the Rapids, was also selected in the Re-Entry Draft. The 28-year-old defender has played center back and right back in his career, but it is on the outside that he excels. Like Barrera and Nyassi, Wynne features very good speed for his position, and the U.S. international is known to cover a significant amount of ground along the right sideline. He has recorded 18 assists in his career, as well as two goals. Wynne was the number one overall pick in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft, selected by the New York Red Bulls.
So far this preseason, all three new signings have seen action. Barrera has played both as a winger and a forward, and he scored two goals in a 5-0 win over the Sonoma County Sol. Wynne has played predominantly at right back, where it is expected that he will battle with Pintos for a starting role, featuring in all five preseason games thus far. Nyassi has only played twice for the Quakes and did not take the field in any of the three Desert Friendlies recently contested in Tucson, Arizona.
The three new additions to the Earthquakes enlarge the roster to 27 players. Last season's roster guidelines allowed for 30 players. MLS has not published its rules and regulations for 2015; likely the league is waiting until the conclusion of the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations it is holding with the players' union.
San Jose Earthquakes 2015 Roster
Updated as of February 11, 2015
Goalkeepers (2): David Bingham, Bryan Meredith.
Defenders (8): Brandon Barklage, Victor Bernardez, Shaun Francis, Clarence Goodson, Ty Harden, Pablo Pintos, Jordan Stewart, Marvell Wynne.
Midfielders (10): Fatai Alashe, Leandro Barrera, Cordell Cato, JJ Koval, Matias Perez Garcia, Sanna Nyassi, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Shea Salinas, Khari Stephenson, Tommy Thompson.
Forwards (7): Innocent Emeghara, Mike Fucito, Adam Jahn, Steven Lenhart, Mark Sherrod, Kris Tyrpak, Chris Wondolowski.