The SuperDraft is the largest gathering of league executives in the MLS calendar year and the Earthquakes used the opportunity to finalize key roster moves heading into the new season. The Quakes drafted three players, Florida International University defender Paul Marie at No.12 overall, forward Danny Musovski at No.30, and forward Mohamed Thiaw at No.35. The club also traded midfielder Darwin Ceren for allocation money and subsequently signed Youth National Team midfielder Eric Calvillo from the New York Cosmos.
The flurry of moves began with Ceren’s trade to Houston, which Houston had proposed “a few weeks ago,” General Manager Fioranelli mentioned in a conference call with reporters. The move cleared the deck for the signing of twenty-year-old Calvillo, who has represented the US Youth National Team as the U-15, U-17, and U-19 levels.
Although Calvillo signed his first professional contract with the Cosmos straight out of high school, the Quakes also dipped into the traditional college pool of young prospects. No.12 pick Marie was projected as a second-round draft pick by the bookies but was the highest rated full-back and fourth overall on San Jose’s big-board, according to Fioranelli. Marie had a “great talk” with the Quakes’ front office during the MLS Combine but he had heard nothing to suggest he would be their top pick.
“It’s amazing…when you hear your name on the stage, it’s just a relief,” Marie told reporters in a conference call. The twenty-two-year-old has never been to California before, having moved Stateside from France to play in college. Although he previously represented the France Youth National Team, Marie qualifies as a domestic player for the Quakes.
He has previously played winger in addition to fullback and totaled eighteen goals and fifteen assists in sixty-eight college appearances. He was the “most intelligent” player at the combine and “reads the game like a midfielder,” according to Fioranelli.
“Paul has the profile we were looking for from the very beginning heading into the combine and the draft,” said the GM. “We were looking for a fullback. We see in him as an offensive-minded outside back that has technical qualities and the ability to read the game. We especially liked that he has character and in the interview that we had with him, he convinced us. The entire coaching staff are really excited about having him part of the club.”
In addition, the Quakes picked up University of Louisville striker Thiaw and University of Nevada forward Musovski, who previously starred for the Quakes’ former PDL affiliate, the Burlingame Dragons. Although Fioranelli was reticent to sort the draft picks on day one, he hinted that the trio will likely start with the club’s USL Affiliate Reno 1868 as did 2017 Draft pick Jackson Yeuill.
The moves likely signal the end of the club’s offseason additions and Fioranelli stated his confidence with their squad. Although their roster currently exceeds the MLS limit of foreign players, Fioranelli said the club are planning on using a combination of strategies to comply with the league’s Byzantine roster regulations.