The San Jose Earthquakes on Thursday acquired Ronnie O'Brien from Toronto FC in exchange for an undisclosed sum of cash and a first-round draft pick. Before spending last season with the MLS debutant, O'Brien, a former Republic of Ireland international, was twice an MLS All-Star in four seasons with FC Dallas.
The right-sided midfielder endured a fitful 2007 with Toronto, playing just 13 games due to a knee injury. But the 29-year-old also complained about the artificial turf at BMO Field, which is partly why he welcomed a move to San Jose, where he and the Quakes will play on the natural grass field at Santa Clara University's Buck Shaw Stadium.
"He's not afraid to shoot, not afraid to take players on. He's an offensive player." San Jose GM John Doyle said of O'Brien, adding that he hopes the 29-year-old stays with the Earthquakes for many seasons to come. O'Brien is the third player the expansion club has used its league-allocated $1.125 million to purchase; the others are MLS veterans Ramiro Corrales, who arrives from Norwegian club Brann, and goalkeeper Joe Cannon, who was traded by the L.A. Galaxy.