The San Jose Earthquakes looked to upgrade their roster ahead of the 2016 MLS regular season, adding potential starters Simon Dawkins and Alberto Quintero in recent months. The Quakes also worked to increase the depth of their player pool at every position, signing MLS SuperDraft pick Kip Colvey as an understudy at fullback. The rookie couldn't be happier to get the chance to play for San Jose.
"It was dream come true for me," said Colvey as his first training session under contract with the Quakes concluded on Friday. "It's been a life-long goal of mine to be a professional soccer player and it's finally happened. I'm so grateful for the opportunity and ready to get to work."
Colvey was selected by the Earthquakes in the third round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft following a standout collegiate career at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. As a four-year starter with the Mustangs, Colvey appeared in 74 matches, making 72 starts in that time. Since arriving in San Jose to start the preseason, he has rarely put a wrong foot forward.
"He had a really good preseason," said head coach Dominic Kinnear, "and he deserves to be here."
Prior to beginning college, Colvey was already familiar with the Quakes organization, making the move to San Jose a whole lot easier for the 21-year-old rookie.
"I spent time training with the Academy before I started at Cal Poly," said Colvey, who detailed how he spent time as an amateur in 2012 with the club.
"I spent some time with Easy Perez, who used to play for the Earthquakes, as well," said Colvey. "When I was training here, I also spent some time watching the first team train, and I really liked what I saw."
Colvey was born in Hawaii, though he was raised in and plays internationally for New Zealand. He has appeared for both the U-17 and U-23s in his international career, though he has not yet received a cap with the senior squad. Due to his birth in the U.S., Colvey does not take up an International slot on the Earthquakes roster.
With the signing of Colvey, San Jose now counts 7 defenders on its 28-man roster. That number does not include midfielder Cordell Cato, who saw playing time in 2015 at both fullback positions. Entering the 2016 season, Marvell Wynne on the right and Shaun Francis on the left are the projected starters for head coach Dominic Kinnear's Starting XI. Colvey feels confident that he could be effective at left or right fullback if called on to play.
"Either is fine," said Colvey. "I am naturally right-footed, so I might be a bit more comfortable on the right, but I can play either just as well."
Colvey may want to keep ready to get the call this season, especially given the potential injuries the Quakes could suffer. That is fine by the rookie, who knows exactly what his responsibilities will be given that he is just starting his professional career.
"Being a first year pro, I know I have a lot to learn this year," said Colvey. "Each day, I'm coming in and watching the guys who've been around awhile and trying to learn all I can from them everyday. And if I get my chance, that's great. I'll make the most of it, hopefully, and if not, I'll be patient and remain ready."
San Jose Earthquakes 2016 Roster
(Projected 28 of 28 spots filled)
Goalkeeper (3): David Bingham, Bryan Meredith, Andrew Tarbell (GA)
Defender (7): Victor Bernardez, Kip Colvey, Shaun Francis, Clarence Goodson, Andres Imperiale (INT'L), Matheus Silva (INT'L), Jordan Stewart, Marvell Wynne
Midfielder (9): Fatai Alashe, Cordell Cato, Simon Dawkins (DP, INT'L), Anibal Godoy (INT'L), Sanna Nyassi, Marc Pelosi, Matias Perez Garcia (DP, INT'L), Alberto Quintero (INT'L), Shea Salinas
Forward (8): Quincy Amarikwa, Chad Barrett, Innocent Emeghara (DP, INT'L), Adam Jahn, Steven Lenhart, Mark Sherrod, Tommy Thompson (HG), Chris Wondolowski