The Quakes picked up two new players in the first two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft, with more rounds Tuesday, January 19.
The first pick-up has many Quakes fans scratching their heads. Andrew Tarbell, the top ‘keeper in this year’s draft from Clemson University, was picked up by San Jose with the eighth overall pick. The Quakes already possess a quality ‘keeper in David Bingham, who is currently at the USMNT camp preparing for upcoming friendlies, and a solid back-up in Bryan Meredith, so why pick up Tarbell? Several reasons come to mind.
- The Quakes have their roster set for the year and needed a third ‘keeper; why not take the best available in this year’s draft?
- Bingham’s call-up may be a regular inconvenience for the Quakes if he impresses at the USMNT camp. Tarbell provides two solid back-ups to fill the void if/when Bingham is gone.
- Why let other teams have him? When you play Monopoly, you buy some properties because you know someone else may need it, not because you do. A Tarbell pick opens the door for trades with teams who need a solid back-up goalie and/or stalls their rebuilding process.
The downside to this pick is that the Quakes did not add depth at the fullback position, but truth-be-told, this shouldn’t be a concern. The Quakes have Shawn Francis, Cordell Cato, and now Andres Imperiale. Francis helped provide more than a few clean-sheets for the team last year, Cato has shown he can play wing on either side, and Imperiale is experienced at centerback and left-back. The Quakes can also lean on Salinas if necessary as a fullback.
Patrick Hodan is a bit of a wild-card. He did not have a very good combine nor a good senior year at Notre Dame, which caused his stock to drop to a second-round pick despite his invitation to the MLS combine. It will be interesting to see if he makes the team or not given the plethora of midfielders, including Godoy, Fatai, Salinas, MPG, Dawkins, Koval, Cato, Nyassi, Pelosi, and Tom Thom. Either the Quakes are looking to make him a practice-squad mid, or work with him to transition him to a different role altogether, possibly a defender.