SAN JOSE -- The Earthquakes' 2014 roster began to take shape Tuesday with the acquisition of outside midfielder Atiba Harris in a trade that sent disgruntled Marvin Chavez to the Colorado Rapids.
The club also announced the signing of Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, a French player who will replace Rafael Baca in central midfield.
The team isn't through retooling the roster, though. "There's some more on the horizon," general manager John Doyle said, adding he hopes to sign another attacking player.
"We were up against it on the cap last year," Doyle added. "We've got our cap under control."
The Quakes made headway Tuesday, starting with a straight swap of attacking midfielders. San Jose got a veteran Major League Soccer player for the speedy Chavez, who told Honduran media recently that he wanted out of San Jose.
The Earthquakes will be the sixth team in seven years for Harris, a 6-foot-3 international from St. Kitts and Nevis. Harris, 28, had five goals and one assist in 29 games for Colorado last year.
After a career-high 13 assists in 2012, Chavez had one assist last season. He appeared in only 15 games because of injuries, suspensions and call ups to the Honduran national team. Chavez, 30, was all but replaced at the end of the season by Cordell Cato.
"We didn't break up with Marvin, Marvin broke up with us." Doyle said. "We're a smaller team and we all need to be selfless in our actions and Marvin didn't do that. He just wasn't there for us."
San Jose also received money in the trade that brings in Harris, who also can play the center forward position.
"We know he can do both jobs very well," coach Mark Watson said. "He may play both positions."
San Jose's management expressed optimism over the acquisition of Pierazzi, captain of AC Ajaccio, a Corsican team that plays in France's premier division. Although he played in a holding position with Ajaccio, the Quakes expect Pierazzi, 28, to have a central role with the attack.
"He's more of a box-to-box guy," Watson said.
Despite the changes, the Earthquakes have kept a majority of the starters Watson inherited when taking over for Frank Yallop on an interim basis midway through last season. Watson's Quakes went 11-5-3 and just missed the playoffs after a horrendous start.
Watson, who became the permanent coach after the season, said the latest acquisitions should make the Quakes more versatile on offense.
"Both players give us some real good options in terms of how we play," he said. "They will continue with what we're trying to achieve."
Doyle liked Pierazzi for more than his talent. The Corsican learned to speak English because he dreamed of playing in the United States some day.
"We know he will assimilate into the team," Doyle said. "He's already a leader. And in all the fitness tests, he covers the most ground on the field."
The Quakes had salary cap room to sign a player from France's Ligue 1 after losing Baca to Mexican side Cruz Azul. The team received an undisclosed payment in the transfer. MLS officials do not divulge financial information on any transactions.
San Jose officials expect to also lose star fullback Steven Beitashour, who wants to play in Europe. But Doyle said Brandon Barklage should fill the spot. The team acquired the 5-11 defender in the MLS re-entry draft last month. Barklage played in 26 games for the New York Red Bulls last season.
In another roster question, Doyle said the Quakes hope to bring back El Salvadoran midfielder Jaime Alas to compete for a roster spot in the preseason camp.
The team also has the ninth overall pick in the MLS draft that will be held Jan. 16 in Philadelphia. San Jose also has the ninth picks in the second and third rounds, respectively.
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.