SAN JOSE -- In a move to try to salvage a disappointing season, the Earthquakes signed national team defender Clarence Goodson in what is one of the team's biggest moves since re-entering MLS in 2008.

"We're very excited to have Clarence join us," Earthquakes interim coach Mark Watson said Friday in a prepared statement. "He brings a lot of experience both in MLS and internationally. He has great leadership qualities and will be a fantastic addition to our back four."

Goodson, 31, began his professional career in Major League Soccer with FC Dallas in 2004 and was selected by the Earthquakes in the 2007 MLS expansion draft. He joins San Jose after three-year stints with IK Start of Norway and Brondby of Denmark.

Star defenseman Clarence Goodson, who played for the U.S. national team in the 2010 World Cup, has signed with the San Jose Earthquakes.
Star defenseman Clarence Goodson, who played for the U.S. national team in the 2010 World Cup, has signed with the San Jose Earthquakes. (Associated Press)

Goodson also was a member of the 2010 U.S. World Cup team in South Africa and was named to the Gold Cup roster this summer. Goodson, a center back, will join the spiraling Quakes after the Gold Cup ends next month.

"Clarence is a World Cup veteran with a wealth of experience in our league, overseas and at the international level," Earthquakes general manager John Doyle said in a statement. "He should be a great addition to our team. He's a good leader, has an excellent character and we're happy to have him join our club."

Goodson's signing casts questions about San Jose's other central defenders. Star defender Victor Bernardez is in the final year of his contract. The Quakes also have veteran Jason Hernandez, Canadian national team player Nana Attakora and injured Ty Harden.