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Earthquakes sign USMNT defender Goodson

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The San Jose Earthquakes are in rebuilding mode after the departure of head coach Frank Yallop, and Friday saw the reigning Supporters Shield winners add a major piece to their puzzle.

The Earthquakes signed U.S. Men’s National Team defender Clarence Goodson on Friday, giving the team a standout partner for Honduran centerback Victor Bernardez.

Goodson joins the Earthquakes from Brondy, where he spent one season, and he will join the Earthquakes after playing for the U.S. in this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

“We’re very excited to have Clarence join us,” said Earthquakes interim head coach Mark Watson. “He brings a lot of experience both in MLS and internationally. He has great leadership qualities and will be a fantastic addition to our back four.”

The Earthquakes held Goodson’s rights after selecting them in the 2007 MLS Expansion draft, when the team first re-entered the league. Goodson’s previous time in MLS was with the FC Dallas, where he spent four seasons before leaving MLS to sign with Norwegian side IK Start.

The 31-year-old centerback helps give San Jose an even stronger aerial presence in the back, and gives the team some depth in central defense, where Jason Hernandez and Nana Attakora also play.

What do you think of the signing? See Goodson helping the Earthquakes turn things around in 2013, or think it’s more a move for 2014?

Share your thoughts below.



  1. “The Earthquakes held Goodson’s rights after selecting them in the 2007 MLS Expansion draft, when the team first re-entered the league.”

    What a joke of a league where a team can hold a players rights for 6 years without the consent of the player. MICKEY FRICKIN MOUSE.

  2. It will be interesting to see how he stacks up against MLS forwards. This will be a great like-for-like comparison to Gonzalez and Besler for the USMNT ranks.

  3. I understand that in keeping with their attacking sophistication, the Earthquakes plan to use him as a forward

  4. Great move for the Nats. He’ll get more playing time and we’ve seen that MLS players can hold up in international competition. This helps the depth of the USMNT.

  5. This is great! Your going to love Santa Clara county. We need him for sure! I wonder how long before the locals begin with the “Oh, hi Mark!” reference from the locally made cult movie “The Room.”

  6. Imagine what the MLS could do with a salary cap of around 5-6 million? We could afford to bring more players like goodson and diskarud to the MLS which would strengthen the league. Im tired of our players leaving for places like Norway and the like when their league is in no way, shape, or form better than the MLS. The league would improve dramatically if more teams could have the flexibility to pay the journeyman 200k-350k salary without making those individuals designated players.

    • Imagine what I could do with 5 – 6 million dollars? New house, vacations, charities, quit my job and… Oh …, I don’t have 5 or 6 million dollars.

      MLS does not have 5 – 6 million dollars to raise salary caps, remember NASL.

      You need to buy more merchandise, watch more MLS on TV (if you can find it), go to more games, buy a suite at your local stadium.

      • Certain teams have the money to spend. Galaxy, montreal, NYRB, NYFC(when the eventually join the league) and Seattle. So the question is, why not let them spend it within reason and increase the cap to around 5-6 million?

      • Because RSL, SKC, SJ, TFC, FCD, COL, CLB and other clubs who can’t afford to keep up and even the clubs that can afford to keep up but have cheap ownership (Fire, NE) will probably get left in the dust.

      • Don’t kid yourself if you think TFC doesn’t have the money to spend…they have very deep pockets.

      • but the playoffs are an equalizer. Small clubs can still go on a run and win the MLS Cup even if the big clubs spend twice or three times as much. NYRB spend 4 times as much as RSL now and RSL are a much better club.

      • I think the Cascadia teams are the only teams who regularly sellout there stadiums and Seattle has the largest gate with their phone company stadium.

        Isn’t LA and NYRB’S high pay roll supplemented by the MLS, which in turn all the teams fund?

    • there is no need for a salary cap in MLS. Just implement Financial Fair Play so clubs cannot spend over revenues. Then let clubs buy and sell the players they want. It’s simple.

    • Those types of players avoid MLS because they cannot choose where to play. Mix wanted to be in Portland but would not come because the team could trade him without his consent. Salary cap hurts roster depth, not the ability to sign quality Americans.

    • Right, because no one in MLS or San Jose ever got called up…Except for Wondo… and Gordon… and Beitashour… and Morrow… and both Bernardez and Chavez get call-ups for Honduras. Donavan was called up when he played for the Quakes too… seems to be a decent list of internationals.

      Bronby wasn’t exactly a powerhouse either. The last part of your name should be “snob”

      • First, thank you for recognizing its Brøndby (instead of Brondy as the article claims). But I must disagree with your claim that it isn’t a power house. It has won 10 Danish titles (most recently in 04-05) and had a few appearances in the Champions League and decent runs in UEFA cup. Plus many of the most famous Danish players cycled through there. So sure it has been a few years since it has won the Danish title, but it will be back!

    • Did moving to San Jose really change his standing in the USMNT?

      Centerback depth is extremely shallow, as the USMNT has one potentially above average centerback and another who is playing at his ceiling currently, and a bunch of below average ones swimming underneath them, including Goodson.

      I don’t think this move has any sort of pull on his status in the team.

    • Is it better to rip on the ig norant or just ignore ?

      That should be a post. If there were fan posting I would post and use this comment as an example.

    • Gooch, Gomez, Cherundolo, Jones, are the likely candidates of the older USMNT Players who will be showing up in MLS in the next year or 2.

      Younger players….Mixx, Morales, D. Williams, Boyd, Gatt, etc…. won’t be coming to MLS unless there is NO Interest from European Teams.

  7. I would be surprised if someone didn’t challenge in court, the “MLS rights” to players who have spent several years abroad. The idea, if you were to listen to the MLS, is to keep the league competitive and to keep big market teams from swallowing all the returning MLS players. But the Salary cap already does that. Looking into it further, it looks like it’s designed soley to keep a lid on salaries. Once the MLS has your “rights” you have no, or little, options, you have no, or little bargaining power as you are bargaining with a single entity, (the MLS) who will sign you and give you to the team that has your “rights” even though you have had no previous playing experience with that team. Even in he small countries in Europe, the pay scale is better than the US. You have to be prepared to take a pay-cut when you do return.

    Yet for some Euro US player, nearing the end of ther careers or hitting 30, you can and will be replace by a younger player sooner-or-later, so heading back to the US, even at reduced pay, seems like a good idea, Just don’t set your heart on playing for a certain team unless your that good and the team is willing to sacrifice for you.

    • They are not forcing people to play in MLS. It has been challenged in court and has been thrown out because MLS isn’t a monopoly. There are other us leagues and leagues abroad they can ply their trade.

  8. I think this is useful context/counterpoint to all the Go To Europe advocates, yes, you can go play in Norway and Denmark and earn some money but it’s roughly equivalent to MLS’ level with a higher paycheck. Voila, you’re back here on the Earthquakes.

    I didn’t know he “is that old” (in soccer terms). Yet another O30 back…..Boca, Dolo, same age basically as Gooch. More useful context. I think the US Soccer system needs to be spending more time and energy on backs, they’re doing an awful job of developing them.

    • if MLS was to add a USA/Canadian DP spot we would lose less good players like Goodson to leagues “roughly equivalent to MLS’ level with a higher paycheck”. next step for MLS imo.

      • I imagine that comes along with the youth DP spot. The idea was kind of to hold onto young homegrown players a little longer. Sooner or later homegrown players will start filling those youth DP spots. Hopefully they do add some kind of incentive for teams to hold onto North American players.

    • I guess I agree with you somewhat in saying they are “doing an awful job in developing [backs],” considering Besler and Gonzalez weren’t a part of the system and the U20s were just destroyed in the World Cup.

      I play centerback in pickup games, but I am 27. Hahaha.

    • Why is this a counterpoint? MLS is anti-competitive when it comes to players – they don’t bid against themselves and they like to lock new players into low paying three year contracts. Plus the whole salary cap thing that limits your salary. Until there’s a lot of reform in the MLS, any decent player should try to go to Europe over the MLS.

  9. I thought that might happen! I like the move as a partial fix for the team’s inability to get a clean sheet. Even if Goodson gets exposed occasionally on the international level, he’ll be a very good defender in MLS. But he’ll miss most of July for the Gold Cup, so it’s definitely a move for 2014. The Quakes are probably expecting to lose Bernardez, whose contract is up and will expect a big raise. Goodson and Attakora would be a good pairing for the next few years.

    • +1

      People forget about Bernardez’s contract situation. If we make a big signing, I’d rather beef up our centeral midfield than resign Bernardez for what he’s likely to require.

  10. I’m confused. They held his rights since 2007. I thought there was a specified amount of time that rights could be held. Nonetheless, Goodson is a damn good pickup for SJ. They sorely need someone to partner Bernardez and to shore up their leaky defense. Morrow and Beitashour are fine on the outsides but Morrow looks a little lost when played as a CB and Hernandez just doesn’t cut it.

  11. This came out of left field. I actually quite like it. Good for San Jose, though as a DC fan, it would have been nice to grab him.

    • He was quoted in several news sources as saying he would only play for a West Coast team. Since LA and Portland are pretty much set at that position, that only leaves Quakes and Seattle. MLS allocation rules are a mystery, but National Team players seem to have more clout than others in choosing where they want to end up (except Herculez Gomez).

    • A big lumbering centerback and a big giraffe on rollerskates centerback.

      The fact that SJ still had his rights seems crazy to me, though. Has MLS changed the time limit over the years but essentially grandfathered in older claims from past collective bargaining agreements? For instance, I thought when Portland picked Findley and Bornstein in their expansion draft it was only good for 2 years.

      • SJ is starting to put together a decent MLS defense but the attack is a bunch of over-achievers, including Wondo. They did score a ton last year but that looks like lightning in a bottle now, on pace for 35-40% of their 2012 GF.

      • Somewhat off topic but what ever happened to Ike Opara? I know he left SJE for SKC, but will he ever reach the heights that were predicted for him (USMNT, etc.)?

      • What were the qualities he was supposed to have to that would get him to USMNT level? I know that he has jumping ability. However he did not look at all comfortable on the ball at least when I saw him play – maybe he was fighting injury at the time.

      • Ike is getting minutes in KC whenever Besler is in the national team, or Collin is suspended. He will also get significant minutes once champions league play comes around. He has looked really good in the time he as played so far. Learning work ethic from Besler on and off the field (and more importantly offseason) is going to bring him to the next level. He is stall but he needs to beef up. His passing could be a lot better, but once again learning from Besler is going to help him a bunch. His future is bright.

      • I think people underestimate how much Dawkins played a role in the offence. I know some Quakes players off the field, and they said they thought Dawkins was the most underrated player in MLS at the time (midseason last year). They missed him and Chavez terribly at the beginning of the season.

        Midfield aside, I think Goodson will do well, and am happy to have him.

      • Portland traded Bornstein and Findley’s rights is subsequent trades. Chivas acquired him for I think in the Zemanski trade and Findley in the Will Johnson trade

      • Yes, I’m aware, but that has nothing to do with the crux of my comment which is that I’m curious as to whether the terms of these “player x’s right” things have changed over the years.

      • Be honest, the “crux” of your comments was to stir everyone up for your cause against MLS parity.

        I guess no one cares…sorry.

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