SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has acquired center back Guram Kashia using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM). Kashia has served as captain for both Dutch Eredivisie side Vitesse Arnhem and the Georgia National Team. He will be eligible to play for San Jose after the Secondary Transfer Window opens on July 10, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa.
“To reinforce select positions during the upcoming transfer windows, we began by identifying someone that fit the criteria we were looking for in a high-quality central defender and this was Guram,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “In addition to his extensive experience, he is a leader both on and off the field and we’re confident he will be an important addition to our squad.”
Kashia, 30, has competed for Vitesse since August of 2010. He has made 293 total appearances for the Dutch side across all competitions, tallying 25 goals and 18 assists. Kashia has made at least 26 appearances in the Eredivisie every season since his acquisition.
During the 2017-18 season, Kashia started 32 of their 34 matches, tallying three goals and an assist while leading the club to a 13-11-10 record, a sixth-place finish and +16 goal-differential. He then anchored Vitesse’s back line to four consecutive postseason wins to claim a spot in the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.
For the past two seasons, Kashia has played in tandem with U.S. National Team center back Matt Miazga, who was on loan from Chelsea.
Kashia led Vitesse to the domestic KNVB Cup title in 2016-17, starting five of their six games and recording a goal and an assist. In his five starts, the club outscored their opponents 12-2, including a 2-0 victory over eventual league champions Feyenoord in the quarterfinals.
The native of Tbilisi, Georgia came up the youth ranks of his hometown club FC Dinimo Tbilisi and made his professional debut in 2006. He made 13 appearances, scoring two goals and helping the club win the Georgian League, Cup and Super Cup, before being transferred to Vitesse in 2010.
He was named the Georgian Footballer of the Year in 2012 and 2013 and the Eredivisie Player of the Month in August of 2015.
Internationally, Kashia has competed for the Georgia National Team since 2009. He has tallied two goals and an assist in 64 appearances, including 19 matches as part of FIFA World Cup qualifying. He recently scored a 90th-minute winner against Malta on June 1, 2018.
Kashia has played alongside Quakes’ Designated Player Vako for both Vitesse and the Georgia National Team.
Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) – Earthquakes acquire and sign D Guram Kashia to a multi-year contract using Targeted Allocation Money.
Pronunciation: GOO-rahm KAH-she-uh
Weight: 172 lbs.
Born: July 4, 1987
Hometown: Tbilisi, Georgia
Last Club: Vitesse Arnhem (Netherlands)
Roster Designation: International