The Earthquakes appear to be changing more dramatically than expected when the season ended in October.
Rafael Baca, who was the fulcrum of the central midfield for the past two seasons, has signed with Mexico City giant Cruz Azul, according to the team's website.
Baca joined fellow MLS players Jose Villarreal and Michael Farfan at a news conference this weekend in Mexico City. Cruz Azul announced the signing of six players ahead of the Mexican league's four-month "Clausura" season that begins in January.
An Earthquakes spokesman said Sunday the player is under contract through the 2014 season. Baca, 24, did not immediately respond to a text message seeking comment. He made $49,500 last season, according to data from the MLS Players Union.
Reports of Baca's departure come on the heels of the Quakes trading fullback Justin Morrow to Toronto FC for allocation money. Also, general manager John Doyle said last week that he expects All-Star fullback Steven Beitashour to seek a bigger payday in Europe instead of re-signing with the Quakes.
Outside midfielder Marvin Chavez also has told Honduran media that he wants out of San Jose.
Baca appeared in 79 games and scored two goals after going undrafted in MLS in 2011 out of Loyola Marymount.
The San Francisco Bulls lost 6-4 to the Colorado Eagles at the Cow Palace. Dean Ouellet, Brett Findlay, Luke Judson and Jordan Morrison had goals, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Mountain Division leaders.
Wire services contributed to this report.