Earthquakes

Quakes protect 11 players ahead of Expansion Draft

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Quakes protect 11 players ahead of Expansion Draft

With the 2011 MLS Cup in the books, teams across MLS aregearing up for a flurry of buying, selling and trading as they prepare toattempt to dethrone the newly-crowned champions Los Angeles Galaxy in 2012, andthe first transactions are already in motion. The Earthquakes, along with 17 other teams announced onMonday their list of protected players for the upcoming Expansion Draft, whichis set to take place at 10 a.m. PT on Nov. 23. In the draft, the Montreal Impact set to become theleagues 19th team will have the opportunity to select 10 playersfrom among the unprotected players around MLS and cannot select more than oneplayer from each team.

Each team can protect 11 players from selection, includingthree international players, provided a team has at least four. Players signed to a Generation adidas contract as well ashomegrown players are exempt from selection. The Earthquakes currently have nohomegrown players, but defender Ike Opara and goalkeeper David Bingham are bothon Generation adidas contracts, meaning they did not have to be protected. There were very few surprises on the Earthquakes list, withmost of the expected names including star forward Chris Wondolowski and otherkey contributors from 2011 such as right back Steven Beitashour, center backJason Herhandez and midfielder Khari Stephenson being protected. Stephenson, from Jamaica,Rafael Baca (Mexico) andSimon Dawkins (England)accounted for the teams international selections. Two players whose futures were the subject of speculation,Dawkins and Steven Lenhart, were both protected. Lenharts contract is up atthe end of the year, but team president Dave Kaval confirmed earlier that theclub is seriously considering re-signing the forward after he tallied fivegoals and three assists before missing the last half of the season on apersonal leave of absence. Like weve said publicly and like Earthquakes GM JohnDoyle and Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop have said publicly, hessomeone that we felt made a very, very positive impact on the team when heplayed, Kaval said in a Nov. 12 interview Its the time of year where were looking at contracts, andwere trying to understand what his thoughts are. Dawkins situation is slightly more complicated as he playedfor the Earthquakes on loan from English Premier League club Tottenham, and hisloan finished at the end of the season. Kaval confirmed the Earthquakes areinterested in bringing Dawkins back for the 2012 season, but that the situationis not entirely in their hands. Theres no final decisions either way obviously theunderstanding whether or not Tottenham is comfortable with him being over herefor another is sort of critical to our offseason planning, Kaval said. TheyTottenham were all happy, I think its more whether Simon has a spot in England. Sothat is not decided yet and because of that, were sort of just in a holdingpattern. However, a tweet from the teams official Twitter accountexplained that his inclusion on the protected list was in order to protect hisrights and prevent his acquisition by another MLS team. Notable unprotected players include left midfielder BobbyConvey, whose option is not expected to be picked up after a falling out withYallop, left back Ramiro Corrales, as well as center back Nana Attakora andright midfielder Jacob Peterson, who were both acquired in a trade midwaythrough 2011, along with Alan Gordon, who was protected. The full protected list is as follows: Rafael Baca, SteveBeitashour, Jon Busch, Sam Cronin, Simon Dawkins, Alan Gordon, Jason Hernandez, Steven Lenhart, JustinMorrow, Khari Stephenson, Chris Wondolowski. The full list of unprotected players available for selectionis as follows: Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Nana Attakora-Gyan, Bobby Burling, BobbyConvey, Ramiro Corrales, Joey Gjertsen, Maxwell Griffin, Chris Leitch, Matt Luzunaris,Ellis McLoughlin, Jacob Peterson, Brad Ring, Scott Sealy, Tim Ward, AndrewWeber.For more Earthquakes, MLS and world soccer chatter,you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter @nicholasrosano

Quakes choose young FIU defender with their first pick in 2018 MLS SuperDraft

Quakes choose young FIU defender with their first pick in 2018 MLS SuperDraft

The San Jose Earthquakes are hoping they've caught lighting in a bottle twice. 

Last season, Nick Lima emerged as one of the game's best young defenders. And on Day 1 of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, San Jose went to the fullback well with the selection of Paul Marie from Florida International University with the 12th pick in the first round. 

"Paul has the profile we were looking for from the very beginning heading into the combine and the draft," said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli via press release. "We were looking for a fullback. We see in him an offensive-minded outside back that has technical qualities and the ability to read the game."

Experts pegged Marie, 22, as a late-first, early-second-round selection. But a pair of solid days during the MLS Combine boosted the Frenchman's stock -- especially on San Jose's board. According to Fioranelli, Marie was No. 4 on their draft board -- having him there at No. 12 must have felt like a steal for Fioranelli and staff. 

"We especially liked that he has character and in the interview that we had with him, he convinced us," Fioranelli said. "The entire coaching staff are really excited about having him part of the club."

San Jose not only lucked out that their fourth-best footballer was there at 12, but with American parents, he does not take up an international slot for San Jose -- the team is still three players over their allotment.

In an interview after his selection with Jason Davis of Sirius XM radio, Marie told San Jose fans what they can expect from the defender. 

"They can expect Paul Marie to give it all for San Jose," he said. 

The Quakes were in need of defensive depth going in to Day 1 of the SuperDraft. In Marie, they have a fullback who can stretch the pitch from the right side and be a backup to Lima. 

Did Quakes pull off 'steal' of MLS SuperDraft in Danny Musovski?

Did Quakes pull off 'steal' of MLS SuperDraft in Danny Musovski?

Not too long ago, former UNLV standout Danny Musovski was the darling of the mock draft. 

And rightfully so -- with 47 career goals in 88 appearances with the Runnin' Rebels, Musovski possesses a knack and nose for the goal that no MLS team can have enough of and thus an early selection in the MLS SuperDraft was expected. 

So when you examine the San Jose Earthquakes' first day of the 2018 SuperDraft, their selection of Musovski can be viewed one of two ways: it's either the steal/ best value of Day 1 at No. 30 or you're skeptical of why the 22-year-old who many experts had going in the top 10 fell all the way down the Quakes in the second round. 

Judging by the way those who know Musovski talk about him, it sounds like Earthquakes fans can lean toward the former. 

"Danny is a striker that we actually saw as one of the biggest prospects considering that over four years he had scored around 50 goals," said San Jose general manager Jesse Fioranelli via press release. "He is a player that we already knew because he was inside of our ecosystem. We are excited to have him at the club."

Fioranelli is talking about Musovski's time with San Jose Premier Developement League affiliate, Burlingame Dragons FC, in 2016 where the forward made a huge impact on a squad that made the PDL postseason fresh off his 12-goal year with UNLV. 

"Quakes got a steal by drafting Danny at No. 30," said his former Dragons FC head coach Eric Bucchere -- who spent last season as an assistant with San Jose affiliate Reno 1868 and founded Path2Pro Soccer thereafter. 

"He's an MLS-ready player with pace, a good soccer brain and knack for scoring goals," Bucchere said, adding that yes, perhaps Musovski's work during the combine wasn't steller, but those two days shouldn't overshadow the striker's upside. "Sometimes it's obvious why a player is good at scoring goals and sometimes you have to watch a player during the course of an entire season to really appreciate what makes him so good." 

There are some experts who point to Chris Wondolowski as a comporable skillset and physical build to Musovski -- a player who no-doubt can find the back of the net but won't blow you away with his athleticism. 

"The last point is that Danny showed more enthusiasm than any other player to join the organization, which was a determining factor for him to join us," Fioranelli said. 

Musovski was a four-year starter and two-time All-America selection for UNLV and the first Rebel to be selected in the Super Draft since Bradley Kamdem in 2016. During his senior season in 2017, he scored 15 goals (good for fourth in the nation) and added six assists in 16 appearances, earning Third Team All-America, First Team All-West Region, First Team All-Western Athletic Conference and Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Time, and training camp, will tell if Musovski will make an immediate impact with the main club. But he'll definitely have a spot with Reno 1868, the Quakes United Soccer League affiliate known for scoring goals in (record-setting) bunches.