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2012 MLS Supplemental Draft: San Jose Earthquakes get defensive with selections

Following on the heels of the two round MLS SuperDraft, the MLS Supplemental draft was concluded yesterday with four more rounds of selections. The San Jose Earthquakes held picks in all but the first round, as the pick was traded earlier in the postseason to Real Salt Lake in exchange for three-year MLS veteran midfielder Jean Alexandre. Looking to add balance to their haul of college standouts from last Thursday’s SuperDraft, the San Jose Earthquakes selected defenders with three of their four supplemental picks.

With the sixth pick in the second round (25th overall) the Earthquakes selected Cesar Diaz Pizarro from the University of California, Riverside. The 6’1” forward netted 20 times and provided 8 assists during his four year career with the Highlanders, and was named the Big West Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year following his senior campaign. If his last name seems familiar, it is because Diaz Pizarro is a relative of ex-Chelsea FC and current Werder Bremen Peruvian International forward Claudio Pizarro.

In round three of the Supplemental Draft, the Earthquakes selected with the 44th overall pick David Tiemstra from Ohio State. The athletic central defender was the leader of a Buckeyes squad that allowed only 20 goals in 18 games. His college coach John Bluem described the two-time Big Ten Conference Defender of the Year as “the anchor of our defense this season and is probably the best defender in the conference. He is a great marker and great in the air and on restart situations. He has scored some big goals for us by being in the right place at the right time."

With the first of two picks in the fourth round of the draft, San Jose selected James Kiffe of the University of California, Santa Barbara. The former teammate of fellow Earthquakes draft pick Sam Garza, Kiffe was named the 2011 Big West Conference Defender of the Year. A left back in the same mold as current Earthquakes defender Justin Morrow, the Gauchos standout was not shy about moving forward into the attacking third, and he scored 2 goals and registered 6 assists in his senior year.

The second of the two fourth round picks for the San Jose Earthquakes was acquired earlier in the day in a trade with Sporting Kansas City. In exchange for the right of first refusal to midfielder Michael Thomas, selected by the Earthquakes in the 2010 MLS Superdraft but never signed by the team, San Jose received the 73rd overall pick in the Supplemental Draft and selected Tyler Krumpe from Loyola Marymount University. The 5’11” defender has speed to burn, and was a college teammate of current Earthquakes midfielder Rafael Baca. Krumpe is the son of Lions head coach Paul Krumpe, who featured along with Earthquakes general manager John Doyle on the U.S. Men’s National Team roster for the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

The four players are expected to report to San Jose by no later than the start of next week to join the rest of the Earthquakes in their preseason training camp. Along with SuperDraft selections Chris Blais and Jacob Hustedt, the four selections will be looking to make the grade and earn a professional contract with MLS. If they are able to do so, they will join current Earthquakes starters Jason Hernandez and Chris Wondolowski as players that defied the long odds of making it in MLS as Supplemental Draft selections.

(Photo courtesy of the Ohio State Athletics Department)