SAN JOSE -- The Earthquakes signed defender Jason Hernandez and midfielder Sam Cronin to new contracts the team announced Wednesday in developments that end most of the offseason questions for the MLS Supporters' Shield champions.
The Quakes have almost the entire roster that went 19-6-9 in the regular season signed for 2013. The biggest question left is English striker Simon Dawkins, who played in San Jose for two years in loan deals with Tottenham Hotspur. Dawkins wants to return to MLS but it depends how much the Hotspurs might demand in selling his rights.
Hernandez and Cronin started regularly during the Quakes' record-setting season for points (66). They were defensive mainstays who helped San Jose reached the Western Conference semifinals where the Quakes were eliminated last week by the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Hernandez, 29, and Ramiro Corrales are the only Quakes left from the team that re-entered Major league Soccer in 2008 as an expansion club. Hernandez ranks among the club's top 10 all-time in games played (123), minutes played (10,847) and games started (122).
"They've been nothing but good to me," he said. "It's a long marriage for MLS."
Terms of the deal were not disclosed per league policy.
"He's a great leader on and off the field and we hope to keep him here for the rest of his career," general manager John Doyle said in a statement.
Hernandez entered MLS in 2005 with his hometown team in New York before
"You can always count on his work rate and his veteran presence both in the locker room," coach Frank Yallop added in a statement.
"Coming in as part of the expansion draft to where we are now, it doesn't even seem to be the same lifetime," Hernandez said. "To still see some of the same faces and feel like you've been part of building something that will be great years to come is something special."
Hernandez understood the balance between trying to make more money elsewhere and staying at a place where he is happy.
"If you want to be part of this, perhaps you can't get as much as you can on a free market," he said. "In my experience it's all about being happy and being here we're happy. The money takes a back seat to being part of something that is successful."
Cronin, 25, had a career-high six assists and one goal while starting 30 games this season. The central midfielder scored a game-tying goal against the Galaxy in a 4-3 comeback victory at Stanford Stadium in June. He formed a strong partnership with Rafael Baca in the midfield, helping fortify the defense while pushing the ball forward.
"Sam has been a very consistent player for us over the last three years," Yallop said. "He's a player that perhaps doesn't get as much credit for what he does, but he's been a key player in the middle for us."
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865 and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.