SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has signed Swiss central defender Francois Affolter to a multi-year contract, pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and ITC. Affolter joins the Quakes after more than 200 appearances in the Swiss Super League and a stint in the German Bundesliga.
“Having Francois join the club midseason will give us an injection of experience, having played at a high level, and technical ability,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “He is a tall, aggressive central defender that will surely boost the club as we push towards the postseason. We can consider ourselves fortunate to have a player of his caliber want to join us as a free agent over other clubs that had interest in him from Europe.”
Affolter, 26, joins the Quakes after three seasons with FC Luzern of the Swiss Super League, where he made 116 appearances in all competitions. He tallied four goals and one assist in 101 league games for the Luzern and helped them reach the Semifinals of the Swiss Cup in 2013-14, 2015-16 and 2016-17 and finish third in the Swiss Super League in 2015-16. While at FC Luzern, Affolter played alongside Earthquakes midfielder Jahmir Hyka from January 2014 until February 2017 when Hyka joined the Quakes.
Affolter began his career in his native Switzerland with BSC Young Boys U-18 squad in 2007 and made his first team debut on Sept. 14, 2008, starting in the 2-1 win against AC Bellinzona. From 2008 to 2013, he was an integral part of the team, scoring four goals in 128 appearances for the club in all competitions. Affolter helped Young Boys finish as the Runners Up of the Swiss Cup in 2009 and later spent the entirety of 2012 on loan with SV Werder Bremen of the German Bundesliga, making 13 appearances for the first team and scoring one goal in five appearances for Werder Bremen II.
In addition to his experience in league play, Affolter made 18 appearances in international cup competitions, including Europa League qualifiers, Europa League and UEFA Champions League qualifiers.
Internationally, Affolter represented the Swiss National Team at the U-18, U-19 and U-21 youth levels and made his senior team debut at 19 years old. He has five senior team caps and also represented Switzerland at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) – Earthquakes sign D Francois Affolter.
Weight: 168 lbs.
Born: March 13, 1991 in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland
Hometown: Biel/Bienne, Switzerland
Last Club: FC Luzern (Switzerland)