After a flurry of activity in front of them saw trades aplenty, the San Jose Earthquakes stayed pat at #9 in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and used the selection to bring Stanford Men's Soccer senior midfielder JJ Koval to the Quakes.
Koval is a box-to-box midfielder that has been followed very closely by the Earthquakes technical staff during his four year on The Farm. A force in the middle and at 6'1" a strong challenger in the air, Koval should provide depth on the roster at the defensive midfielder position behind team MVP Sam Cronin and recently acquired Ligue 1 star Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi.
Of well-known MLS stars, Jeff Larentowicz provides a good comparison to Koval. Like Larentowicz, the Cardinal captain does not shy away from a challenge and will provide plenty of grit in the center of the pitch. In a recent interview with TopDrawerSoccer.com, Koval had this to say about his style:
"A big part of my game is the physical game, I really take pride in making tackles, winning the ball in order to start the attack, not only on the ground but also in the air.
"I would also say that I'm very comfortable on the ball, I'm comfortable with the ball at my feet, making decisions with the ball, so I like to keep possession and look to go forward and really start the attack."
Koval and the Earthquakes report for preseason training camp on January 26.