The San Jose Earthquakes used their first selection, eighth overall, in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft to choose goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell from the Clemson University. The pick went against the conventional wisdom that the Quakes would look to add defensive depth to their roster through the draft.
"I don't know why people would find this a surprise," head coach Dominic Kinnear told reporters following the pick. "We think he is really good."
Tarbell featured in goal for three years at Clemson and signed a Generation Adidas deal with MLS ahead of the draft. He has finished his coursework, however, having completed a degree in civil engineering in December, so he will arrive in San Jose unattached to his alma mater. His status as a Generation Adidas signing means his contract will not count against the Earthquakes' salary cap, making his selection in the top-ten understandable.
"I am very proud to be picked where I was," said Tarbell to reporters following his selection.
With current starting goalkeeper David Bingham a near lock to continue as the number one 'keeper going into 2016, it was curious that the Earthquakes would take Tarbell. Kinnear, however, saw it differently, as he said it was more important to take the entire roster into account when making draft selections.
"We are not into mind games," said Kinnear. "We want to create competition here and cover. In every position across the field there is the possibility of injury, the possibility of call-ups. It may be a decision that raises eyebrows, but looking at our roster, this makes it a little bit easier for us and provides some good competition and cover, as well as a good look for the future."
San Jose Earthquakes select GK Andrew Tarbell in 2016 MLS SuperDraft
Date of Birth: October 7, 1993
Hometown: Mandeville, La.
College: Clemson University