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MLS Draft 2018: San Jose Earthquakes select Paul Marie from FIU in first round

Quakes pick a right fullback at #12 in the SuperDraft

Paul Marie is welcomed by head coach Mikael Stahre and general manager Jesse Fioranelli

With the 12th overall selection in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, the San Jose Earthquakes selected Paul Marie. The midfielder/defender from Florida International University is projected to play at right fullback at the professional level.

“There were so many emotions at the same time,” said Marie when asked what it meant to hear his name called. “First of all, grateful. That’s what I felt: grateful.”

Marie (pronounced MAH-ree) was born in France to American parents, so he will not count as an International Player if he is signed by the Quakes. At 22 years old, he would be a natural back-up to second-year defender Nick Lima on San Jose’s defensive roster.

“In terms of how the Earthquakes play, I will do well helping the team as a right back,” he said. “I love to go up and down the field, doing my defensive job first, then helping offensively to create those overloads on the side. My main focus will be to give my all for the team.”

At the collegiate level, Marie played more advanced, often in midfield, and was a big contributor to FIU’s attack. In his senior season, he scored 8 goals and 6 assists, earning All-Conference USA honors.

“I played most of the games offensively (at FIU), moving up the field because my coach felt it would help us be better.”

Marie competed in this year’s MLS Combine in Orlando, recording an assist in his first appearance. Taking a ball deep on the left side of the pitch, Marie whipped a cross into the box with his right foot that was headed in for a goal by former Earthquakes Academy product Josh Morton. His performances in both the Combine and in college impressed Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli so much that he rated Marie as the fourth-best player in the draft.

“While at the Combine, I met with the coaching staff and had a great talk, but there was nothing that said I would be the first pick,” said Marie. “We had a great talk and learned a lot about each other.”

“I can’t wait to get started,” he said of being drafted much higher than pundits had predicted. “I can’t wait to prove myself that I can do it and help the team the best. That is the mentality that I have.”

Since arriving back in the United States to play collegiate soccer following an unsuccessful try at playing professionally in France, Marie has spent almost his entire time in Florida. When he arrives in San Jose to start preseason camp next week, it will be his first time in the Bay Area.

“This is going to be a new part of my adventure. I always wanted to go to California to visit, and I look forward to the chance to work there, so it’s even more amazing.”