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San Jose Earthquakes sign U.S. Men's National Team defender Clarence Goodson

In an effort to bolster their lagging defense, the San Jose Earthquakes signed U.S. men's national team defender Clarence Goodson ahead of the MLS summer transfer window. In perhaps the longest courtship in MLS history, the Quakes finally got the player they picked first in the 2007 Expansion Draft. Now that's patience!

J. Meric

The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that they have signed U.S. men's national team defender Clarence Goodson. While the specific details of his MLS contract were not released, Goodson was not signed as a Designated Player.

Announced yesterday as part of the 23-man USMNT roster that will compete in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup in July, Goodson will join the Earthquakes following the conclusion of the tournament. Expectations are that he will partner with Honduran international Victor Bernardez at centerback, giving the Quakes one of the most formidable defensive duos in MLS.

"We're very excited to have Clarence join us," said Earthquakes interim head coach Mark Watson in an official team press release. "He brings a lot of experience both in MLS and internationally. He has great leadership qualities and will be a fantastic addition to our back four."

Goodson, 31, began his professional career in MLS with FC Dallas in 2004 after being selected at #7 overall in the SuperDraft. He made 74 appearances during his stay in Texas, tallying three goals and two assists. The stalwart center back earned the starting job for FC Dallas in his sophomore season and helped lead their squad to three consecutive MLS Cup Playoff appearances from 2005-07.

As part of a 10 player slate that included current Earthquakes centerback Jason Hernandez, Goodson was selected by San Jose in the 2007 MLS Expansion Draft. Goodson opted to pursue a career in Europe, but the Quakes have held his MLS rights since 2007. He returns to MLS after consecutive three-year stints with IK Start of Norway and Brondby of Denmark where in six seasons he made a combined 128 appearances and scored 16 goals.

"Clarence is a World Cup veteran with a wealth of experience in our league, overseas and at the international level," said Earthquakes general manager John Doyle. "He should be a great addition to our team. He's a good leader, has an excellent character and we're happy to have him join our club."

Away from his club career, Goodson has accumulated 36 caps with the U.S. men's national team and has tallied 3 goals. His most recent appearance for the USMNT was against Belgium on May 29. He also started and played 90 minutes in the 1-0 win against Costa Rica in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying on March 22, best known as the Snow Game as both teams played through heavy weather at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Colorado.