With the San Jose Earthquakes season opener one week away, the team made a few roster moves involving their off-season draft picks as they get ready to host the Montreal Impact in MLS week one action.
Former Real Salt Lake forward Olmes Garcia, who the Quakes selected in the second stage of the Re-Entry Draft is no longer with the team, according to general manager Jesse Fioranelli.
“We have released him,” said Fioranelli matter of factly.
Garcia was a long-shot to make the squad, especially with the addition of international strikers Danny Hoesen of the Netherlands and Marco Urena of Costa Rica, both added in January. The Colombian forward had his opportunities in the preseason, even scoring the winning goal against the LA Galaxy in the California Clasico Las Vegas earlier this month, but he was deemed surplus to the cause and can negotiate to play with any other club in MLS.
The Earthquakes are prepared to sign MLS SuperDraft second round selection Lindo Mfeka a rookie contract. The University of South Florida product electrified at the MLS Combine ahead of the draft, and he has looked good as an attacking player this preseason.
“We are going to complete a contract with him,” Fioranelli said of Mfeka, who will join first round selection Jackson Yueill as the only two drafted players to make the roster out of preseason.
Third round selection Christian Thierjung and fourth round pick Auden Schilder, both Pac-12 standouts, will not be signed to rookie contracts. Schilder, a goalkeeper out of the University of Washington, and Thierjung, a forward from Cal, will have their MLS rights held by San Jose, according to the league’s roster rules.
“What we care the most about is that all of the players, especially the young ones, have playing opportunities,” said Fioranelli.
Thierjung, who also featured for the Earthquakes USL PDL affiliate, the Burlingame Dragons FC, could find a home with Reno 1868 FC, the Quakes USL affiliate this season.
“I am not sure we can guarantee that,” said Fioranelli. “Because we care that every player has the opportunity to play, not just minutes, but a whole season to develop themselves, we have decided to give him the opportunity to look into other options as well.”
Schilder’s situation is a bit different, as the goalkeeper has decided not to follow his college career into the professional ranks. He majored in the earth sciences at Washington, and he let the Quakes know he wanted to take a job in that field instead of in soccer.
“He has decided to follow a different career path,” said Fioranelli. “We are proud of him because he is a special young person, and we support when people are as bright as he is who want to pursue an opportunity of importance. He strove to have bigger opportunities in life, and we didn’t want to be a hurdle and put anything in his way.”
The Earthquakes still have until the end of the day Tuesday to be roster compliant, but at this stage, there is nothing standing in the way of that happening, and further significant roster moves are not anticipated. A third goalkeeper could be signed, but roster rules do not require more than two.
2017 San Jose Earthquakes Roster (as of February 25)
Goalkeeper (2): David Bingham, Andrew Tarbell.
Defender (9): Victor Bernardez, Kip Colvey, Harold Cummings, Shaun Francis, Andres Imperiale, Florian Jungwirth, Nick Lima, Kofi Sarkodie, Marvell Wynne.
Midfielder (12): Fatai Alashe, Cordell Cato, Darwin Ceren, Simon Dawkins, Anibal Godoy, Jahmir Hyka, Lindo Mfeka, Marc Pelosi, Shea Salinas, Matheus Silva, Tommy Thompson, Jackson Yueill.
Forward (4): Quincy Amarikwa, Danny Hoesen, Marco Urena, Chris Wondolowski.