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Shea Salinas signs new deal with San Jose Earthquakes

Versatile veteran is staying in San Jose.

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Sporting Kansas City Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Shea Salinas said coming into the offseason he would keep his options open after his contract runs out with the San Jose Earthquakes, but in the end, he wants at least one go-round with the crew, as the club announced Thursday they have signed the veteran to a new one-year contract with an option to extend.

“San Jose has benefitted from its strong veteran presence within the locker room, including Shea Salinas,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli in a team statement. “These players represent far more than simply their on-field contributions. We’re excited to count on Shea’s qualities and leadership because they‘ve impacted our performance as well as our commitment to push ourselves to the limit for the team as well as for our fans.”

The 34-year-old has played the last nine seasons with the Earthquakes and 11 of his 13 overall in MLS, making 292 appearances to date with the club. Salinas broke the club’s assist record in the 2020 season, with 48 all-time, and ranks second in appearances all-time, behind only Chris Wondolowski.

While Salinas is getting older, he’s been incredibly durable in his career, is versatile in terms of his position, and has a terrific knack for being effective as both a starter and substitute. In fact, he was voted the “Super Sub of the Year” by MLS podcast Extratime for the 2020 season, playing all 26 games across all competitions and coming off the bench for 21 of them.

All in all, this is a good move by the Earthquakes. Salinas may never be a superstar, but he brings far more than people outside San Jose realize, and his level of consistency and knack for scoring timely goals remains valuable to the Quakes. Coupled with the Quakes’ re-signing of another versatile player this week, Tommy Thompson, I think the club is building the squad and this will give them a good base for hopeful upgrades elsewhere on the roster this offseason. We’ll keep you posted on additional moves and announcements to come.

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