Speedy winger Marvin Chávez has already been hailed as the best offseason acquisition by San Jose, the man who will put a stop to the revolving door that was the right midfield spot and infuse a big dose of danger to the Earthquakes attack.
But for the Honduran international, the new challenge begins at a much more fundamental level.
“It’s a big responsibility,” Chávez, currently on vacation in his home country, told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Monday about the expecations placed upon him. “But first I have to sacrifice myself, put in a strong effort to win a spot [in the starting lineup].”
As “excited and hopeful” the 28-year-old says he is about joining a new team and helping them improve on their seventh-place finish in the Western Conference in 2011, Chávez admitted the deal struck between San Jose and FC Dallas, his former club, caught him off guard.
“Yeah, it was totally unexpected,” he said, "but that’s the way things are in soccer. You have to be prepared for anything. I was doing things well [in Dallas], had a lot of great friends on the club, good teammates, a good coach, but that’s the way things go. The important thing now is to relax and then come back ready to play for San Jose.”
After notching six goals and four assists in an MLS career-high 31 games played (30 starts) for FCD last season, Quakes head coach Frank Yallop hopes Chávez can help lighten the goalscoring load on Chris Wondolowski and also set the forward up with service from the right wing.
For the midfielder, having someone like Wondolowski in the box is a welcome commodity, especially after playing a full season in Dallas without a true target. He hopes the two can quickly and seamlessly find chemistry on the pitch.
“I have to come in and do things well, adapt to the team, gel with the teammates,” noted Chávez. “[With Wondolowski], I think he’ll be a good teammate. He’s a good player and has really helped the team a lot. I hope we can work together well and each one contribute to the team’s success.”
But following two-and-a-half seasons in Dallas, it’s only logical that Chávez leaves the team and the city with a heavy heart.
“[FCD] gave me a chance in MLS, so I’m very thankful with the support the team and the fans gave me,” he said.
Still, he’s eager to get started in San Jose.
“I’m very excited to get here and try to perform well, to play well,” said Chávez. “I already spoke with [Yallop] and he’s a very open guy, an excellent person. He welcomed me and I hope to do well.”
Chávez will spend the holidays in Honduras with his family before heading back to Dallas to tie up some loose ends. Once done, he’ll travel to the Bay Area ahead of Quakes training camp, which starts Jan. 16.