SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has acquired El Salvador National Team captain Darwin Ceren and salary budget space to sign a season-ending injury replacement from Orlando City SC in exchange for Matias Perez Garcia and an international roster slot through the end of the 2016 season.
"I want to thank Matias for his service here. He was a model professional, who gave everything for the team and we wish him well in Orlando," said Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear. "We think Darwin is a good young player who is going to add bite to our midfield. Every time I saw him play for Orlando, I thought he would be a good fit for us and I'm glad we have had the opportunity to bring him here."
Ceren, 26, made 42 regular season appearances (39 starts) with Orlando City SC since the club's inaugural season in MLS last year. During the past season and a half with the Lions, he has tallied two goals, one game-winning goal and four assists.
At the conclusion of the 2015 season, in which he ranked fifth in the league in passes per game and 11th in both passing completion percentage and average tackles per game, Ceren received the 2015 FutbolMLS.com's Latino del Año Award as the best Latino player in MLS.
Other players nominated for the honor included Kaka, Fabian Castillo, Diego Valeri, David Villa and Giovani dos Santos. He also earned the 2015 Orlando City Players' Player of the Year Award.
"We're looking forward to having Darwin join the team," said Earthquakes general manager John Doyle. "He is a young, versatile center midfielder that will make the team better."
Ceren originally signed with Orlando City SC in February of 2014 when the club was a part of the United Soccer League. In his lone season in USL, Ceren recorded two goals and an assist in 15 matches.
Prior to signing with Orlando, Ceren helped Salvadorian club Juventud Independiente earn promotion to the country's first division. He made 83 appearances for the club and scored 15 goals from 2009 to 2014.
Internationally, Ceren has earned 34 caps for the El Salvador National Team since May of 2013, scoring two goals. He has served as his side's captain on numerous occasions and played in all three of El Salvador's games at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
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