Earthquakes sign Valeri ‘Vako’ Qazaishvili as latest Designated Player

Earthquakes sign Valeri ‘Vako’ Qazaishvili as latest Designated Player

(Editor's Note: The above video is from January 2017)

The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has signed Georgia National Team attacking midfielder Valeri ‘Vako’ Qazaishvili as a Designated Player, pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and ITC. Qazaishvili scored for Georgia in their most recent World Cup qualifying match on June 11.

“We were looking for a player, a younger, offensive player, that really excites the fans and has the possibility to stay with us for a long period of time. That’s what we found with Vako,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “We wanted a player that knows how to take on a defender one-on-one, that sees the goal and that also wants to bring a spark to our game.”

Qazaishvili, 24, becomes San Jose’s youngest ever Designated Player after six years with SBV Vitesse of the Dutch Eredivisie. He tallied 25 goals and 10 assists in 104 league games for the Dutch side, adding another three goals and three assists in other top-flight competition.

Qazaishvili began his career in his native Georgia with FC Saburtalo in 2010, spending time on loan with Metalurgi Rustavi and Sioni Bulnisi. He then moved on to Vitesse in August of 2011 at just 18 years old, tallying one goal in four appearances for the first team in his debut season.

From 2012-13 to 2013-14, Qazaishvili spent significant time with the U-21 squad, scoring 14 goals in 30 league appearances for the youth side and establishing himself as a first-team player.

Qazaishvili then scored nine goals during the 2014-15 Eredivisie season and a team-best 10 in 2015-16. He later spent the majority of the 2016-17 season on loan with Poland’s Legia Warsaw, helping them win the league championship with a 21-6-10 overall record.

In addition to his experience in league play, Qazaishvili has made eight appearances in international cup competition, including Europa League qualifiers, Europa League and UEFA Champions League. He appeared against clubs such as Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid in Champions League play.

He also has extensive experience playing with the Georgia National Team, scoring nine goals in 24 appearances at various youth levels and five goals in 23 appearances for the senior team.

Earthquakes media services

Citing desire for new challenge, team president leaves Kings

Citing desire for new challenge, team president leaves Kings

Sacramento – Today, Sacramento Kings President Chris Granger released the following statement announcing his departure.

“The Kings are in an amazing place, and it’s time for me to take on a new challenge. Together, we reenergized downtown Sacramento, creating the world’s most technologically advanced and sustainable arena that our fans and team are proud to call home. The community of Sacramento has embraced my family and I will always be proud of the role I played here. I want to thank Vivek, the Kings’ leadership team and incredible staff for their support. I’m confident the Kings organization will continue to do great things in Sacramento and break new ground across the League.”

Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé released the following statement on Granger's departure.

“Chris is one of the best in the business and we are extremely thankful for his contributions to the Kings and the Sacramento community. He was instrumental in helping us create the world’s most innovative and sustainable arena, Golden 1 Center, for our fans and building Sacramento’s new entertainment district, Downtown Commons. Approaching the one year anniversary of our new arena’s opening, we continue to see great progress across the entire organization that wouldn't have been possible without his leadership. 

The management team going forward will be led by Chief Operating Officer Matina Kolokotronis and, starting today, the current Chief Financial Officer John Rinehart has been named President of Business Operations. Chris will remain with the team for one month through a transition period.

We wish Chris and his family all the best as he moves into the next stage of his career.”

The Sacramento Kings media services provided this report.

A's trade third baseman Plouffe to Rays

A's trade third baseman Plouffe to Rays

OAKLAND – The Oakland A’s traded third baseman Trevor Plouffe and cash to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a player to be named later or cash, the club announced Saturday.
Plouffe was batting .214 with seven home runs and 14 RBI in 58 games with the A’s when he was designated for assignment on Thursday.  He was 6-for-51 (.118) over his last 18 contests.  

Plouffe signed with the A’s as a free agent prior to the 2017 season and is a .245 career hitter with 103 home runs and 371 RBI in 781 games in eight seasons in the majors with Minnesota (2010-16) and Oakland (2017).

A's media services