The Earthquakes suffered a late-season blow Monday when learning newly acquired midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy will be lost for the year after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Ballouchy, 29, will undergo surgery this week, a team spokesman said.
The right-side midfielder suffered the injury Saturday night against FC Dallas when awkwardly kicking at a ball in the 51st minute. He landed hard on the field, tearing the ligament.
"The news was very disappointing," Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop said in a statement. "Mehdi was just settling in with our squad and was playing very well for us. He'll be missed, but we know that he'll be back stronger than ever next season."
Ballouchy, who came to San Jose at the end of July in a trade with the New York Red Bulls, was brought in to boost the midfield flanks for a playoff run.
Starting winger Marvin Chavez is sidelined with a left hamstring muscle strain, and left-side midfielder Simon Dawkins is nursing an ankle sprain.
The Cal football team's game at Washington State on Oct. 13 has been set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The game will be aired on the Pac-12 Networks.
Jim Knoll of Sunnyvale
Wire services contributed to this report.