As you would imagine, Thursday was a “dream come true” for Thomas Williamson.
The San Jose Earthquakes’ 1st round 2021 MLS Draft pick uttered those familiar words, but the Cal forward was clearly excited to hear his name called.
“I’m extremely excited to get started with San Jose,” Williamson said immediately after his selection. “They’re a team I’ve been following for a very long time, and it’s great that I’m able to stay in the Bay here and be close to my friends and family, and hopefully be able to play and join a fantastic organization.”
Williamson grew up in Orange County before heading up to Berkeley, but he seems to be very much on NorCal’s side at this point in his life, and is ready to get to work.
The Earthquakes were pleased with the selection as well.
“Obviously, you know the jump to MLS requires patience,” general manager Jesse Fioranelli told reporters on a conference call Thursday. “But what he does have is a physical presence. He has technical ability. And the one thing that I think counts the most is he’s excited to come. Thomas has character and expressed a strong desire to do well here in San Jose.”
Williamson characterized his role as a “dangerous forward,” and emphasized his energy on the field, which would particularly mesh with head coach Matias Almeyda’s system.
As a draft pick who is not already signed to an MLS contract, Williamson will need to earn a deal with the Earthquakes. He said he’s been training six days a week with Cal as they prepare for the upcoming scheduled spring NCAA season, but when asked if he will remain with the Golden Bears for that season, as is permitted by NCAA and MLS rules, before joining the Quakes set-up or leaving school right away and joining San Jose for training camp, the player said he would be speaking to the Earthquakes to determine his next step.
But Williamson was still thrilled to be selected and possibly get to work alongside the best scorer in MLS history, Chris Wondolowski.
“That was one of the big things I was excited about when I heard the Quakes call my name because obviously, everyone knows Wondo and what he’s done for U.S. Soccer, I mean I grew up watching him in the World Cup when I was younger. Just an idol, to say the least. And I’ll do everything I can to just watch and learn from him and, you know, even just be amazed a little bit, so I’m looking very forward to it,” Williamson said.
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