SAN JOSE -- The Earthquakes have freed two international slots because midfielders Marvin Chavez and Mehdi Ballouchy received green cards, the team announced Monday.

Chavez and Ballouchy now count as domestic players, a change that allows San Jose to broaden its search for talent beyond the United States.

Chavez, 29, is a member of Honduras' national team whereas Ballouchy, 29, moved to the United States from his native Morocco as a teenager. He was an All-American at Santa Clara in 2005 after graduating from Gunn High-Palo Alto.

Ballouchy appeared in six games for the Quakes last season after getting traded by the New York Red Bulls. The midfielder's season ended in September with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Chavez had a career-high 13 assists in his first season in San Jose and was the sparkplug for the Earthquakes' high-scoring offense.

Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865 and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond



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