The San Jose Earthquakes made it official on Wednesday, announcing that midfielder Jahmir Hyka has received his U.S. green card and will no longer occupy an International spot on the team’s 2018 MLS roster. Hyka had left San Jose last week in order to complete the process, returning this week to Quakes training with permanent resident status.
The Albanian men’s national team regular signed with the Earthquakes last February on a multi-year contract using Targeted Allocation Money. He featured in 30 games last season for San Jose, 21 as a starter, and scored 3 goals and added 5 assists in his first MLS season. Hyka was on the bench of the Quakes 3-2 season opening victory over Minnesota United, but the 30 year old did not play in the match.
The Earthquakes have been busy this year securing green cards for their eligible international players. Earlier in the preseason, both Panamanian midfielder Anibal Godoy and German midfielder/defender Florian Jungwirth received their permanent resident status, allowing the team to be roster compliant ahead of the start of the season. MLS teams are allowed up to eight players that count as internationals; Hyka’s green card drops that number to seven on San Jose’s roster.
The move has been in the works for quite a while, but completing the process took on extra urgency when the Earthquakes tried to sign their 2018 MLS SuperDraft first-round selection, defender Paul Marie. Despite him being listed as a domestic player prior to the draft, Marie, born to American parents, was reclassified as an international player by MLS rules. Now that the Quakes have an extra spot on their roster, Marie is eligible to sign a rookie contract. Such a move is expected in short order.
The other seven members of the team that currently occupy International spots on San Jose’s roster are as follows: defenders Francois Affolter, Harold Cummings, Joel Qwiberg and Yeferson Quintana, midfielders Magnus Eriksson and Valeri “Vako” Qazaishvili, and forward Danny Hoesen.