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San Jose Earthquakes add USL vet to midfield mix
by Ridge Mahoney, February 15th, 2010 7AM
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[MLS] To no one's surprise, on Friday San Jose announced the acquisition of five-year USL veteran midfielder Joey Gjertsen. The versatile Gjertsen, 27, has been with the team during preseason training and will give the Quakes another midfield option following the departure of Shea Salinas, grabbed by Philadelphia in the expansion draft. Gjertsen will also put pressure on Arturo Alvarez and Bobby Convey, who are the flank incumbents in the wake of Salinas’s departure.

“We are happy to add a very good quality attacking wide player like Joey to our team,” said Quakes general manager John Doyle. “He strikes the ball very well with both feet and will bring a lot to our team this year and in the future.”

A native of Tacoma, Wash., Gjertsen played five seasons in the USL with Vancouver and Montreal, which he helped win the league title last year and represented in 10 Concacaf Champions’ League matches. He also won a USL title with Vancouver in 2006 and was the team’s MVP that year.

The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Gjertsen played two seasons of college ball at Evergreen State University after attending junior college for two years.

In a Q&A on the Quakes’ Web site, he said, “Obviously being the new guy, whatever my role is, I want to be a spark. Maybe where I can be used in different positions, and hopefully spark the team and continue to be a playmaker and work hard to help us win games.”

In a preseason match against Kansas City Saturday in Tempe, Ariz., Gjertsen won a free kick from which the Quakes scored the only goal of a 1-0 win. He and the team returned to Northern California after the game and will resume training this week.

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