With an overabundance midfielders on their 2018 roster, the San Jose Earthquakes cleared one from the books by trading Darwin Ceren to the Houston Dynamo. In exchange for the El Salvador international, the Quakes received $100,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and $75,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. San Jose can also receive an additional $50,000 in GAM in 2019 based on Ceren’s performance this season.
“We want to thank Darwin for his contributions to the club over the last year and a half,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli in a statement released by the team. “We wish him and his family nothing but the best in Houston.”
The 29-year-old played one and a half seasons in San Jose following a trade on August 3, 2016, that brought him in from Orlando City SC. He featured in 33 games, 28 of them starts following the move, recording two assists playing primarily as a defensive holding midfielder. Ceren started the last three games of the 2017 season as the Quakes qualified for the MLS Cup playoffs for the first time in five years. He played the full 90 minutes in the team’s 5-0 opening round loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps.
“I just want to say thank you very much San Jose Earthquakes (technical and front office staff, players and fans) for the opportunity to work together,” said Ceren in a post on Twitter. “Thanks for the way you treated me and my family. It was a very special experience.”
A regular with the El Salvador national team since 2012, Ceren has plied his trade in the U.S. since signing with Orlando, then of the USL, ahead of the 2014 season. He remained a member of the Lions’ roster when they moved up to MLS in 2015 and was a regular starter. His first professional contract was with Juventud Independiente in his native land.
Given that Ceren holds a green card and was not counted as an International Player on their roster, the Earthquakes will still need to make moves to either pare down the current 11 or acquire International Roster Slots from within the league. In 2017, each MLS team was given only 8 slots to start the year. The number in 2018 has yet to be announced, but it unlikely to rise considerably. These roster slots are tradable within the league, so there will likely be more wheeling and dealing from San Jose ahead of the season opener on March 3, when clubs are required to be roster compliant.