The San Jose Earthquakes have selected Stanford midfielder JJ Koval with the ninth pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
Koval becomes the 12th Stanford player drafted by the Earthquakes after the team chose forward Adam Jahn last January during the supplement draft. While at Stanford, Koval twice earned All-Pac 12 honors.
As Head Coach Mark Watson explained, the Earthquakes have had plenty of chances to scout the central midfielder, and he was exactly the player the club was looking for in the first round.
“We’ve probably seen him play 50 or more times over the last four years, so there’s a lot of familiarity with him. He’s the guy that we were hoping to get with the No. 9 pick so we’re happy to have him.”
The addition of Koval, who helped guide Stanford to the third round of the NCCA tournament as a senior, will help to make up for the departure of midfielder Rafael Baca. For his part, Koval is happy to have landed with the local club.
“Having played at Stanford the last four years, the Earthquakes are the team I support and wanted to play for. I couldn’t be more excited. There’s a lot of guys on this team who I look up to and I can’t wait to contribute in any way I can.”
The Earthquakes also selected defender Joe Sofia with the 28th pick in the draft. The second-round selection earned All-Pac 12 honors three times during his career at UCLA. San Jose General Manager John Doyle remarked that Sofia should be “a good addition” to the club’s defense. As a senior, the central defender was named the Pac-12 Men’s Soccer Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Note: All quotes courtesy of the San Jose Earthquakes.