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Earthquakes sign Pierazzi, send Chavez to Colorado for Harris

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Earthquakes sign Pierazzi, send Chavez to Colorado for Harris
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Earthquakes sign Pierazzi, send Chavez to Colorado for Harris

After a quiet start to the offseason, the San Jose Earthquakes made a splash Tuesday.

San Jose shook up its midfield, announcing the signing of former Ajaccio captain Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, as well as a trade that sent Marvin Chavez to the Colorado Rapids for Atiba Harris.

Pierazzi fills the void in central midfield left by the sale of Rafael Baca to Mexican side Cruz Azul. The 28-year-old had been with Ajaccio since 2006, helping the French club earn promotion to Ligue 1 in 2011 and making 67 appearances during the past two and a half seasons.

"We had the opportunity to watch Jean-Baptiste play in France and met him in his hometown," Earthquakes coach Mark Watson said in a news release. "He's excited to come to play in the United States and knows a lot about our team already. He has a great character and has been playing in a top league in Europe for a number of years."

Harris, 28, is coming off a successful comeback season for Colorado, during which he made 29 appearances (24 starts) and scored five goals. The Saint Kitts and Nevis international had been limited by injury to 12 games over the past two seasons with Vancouver. He also has played for Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA and FC Dallas during his eight-year MLS career.

Before Tuesday, San Jose had made no acquisitions this offseason other than claiming the rights of fullbacks Shaun Francis and Brandon Barklage in last month's re-entry draft second stage.

The Rapids in exchange for Harris receive Chavez, 30, who over the past two seasons with San Jose compiled four goals and 14 assists in 42 games (35 starts). The Honduran international spent the first three years of his MLS career with Dallas.

"Marvin is a dynamic attacking player with a lot of international experience, who can both create and score goals," said Rapids technical director Paul Bravo in a news release. "We're eager to bring him into our squad and help him get settled in Colorado. We would also like to thank Atiba for his work here last year. He was a true professional."

After enjoying a career year in 2012, notching 13 assists, Chavez saw his playing time decrease under coach Mark Watson, who took over halfway through last season. In a Spanish interview with Honduran newspaper Diez, Chavez on Tuesday said: "With the arrival of the new manager, we didn’t share some things. I believe he had his ideas."

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