Top Stories

Earthquakes sign U.S. Under-23 midfielder Marc Pelosi

Pelosi (Getty)



Marc Pelosi is heading back home.

The 21-year-old midfielder signed a deal with the San Jose Earthquakes late on Friday through the help of the Allocation Ranking List, which is used to determine which MLS club has first priority to sign specific players, including “elite youth U.S. Men’s National Team players” like Pelosi.

“Marc is a good young player with a bright future,” Earthquakes general manager John Doyle said in a statement. “We are happy to bring him to his hometown club.”

Pelosi previously played for the Liverpool Under-21 team, but due to injuries, including a broken leg that led to a 14-month absence, the English club released him in June.

The midfielder has been heavily involved with U.S. Soccer, training with the senior U.S. team under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in January and helping the U.S. Under-23s to a third-place finish in the 2015 Toulon Tournament in May.

What do you think about Pelosi signing with MLS? Think he can succeed at San Jose? Would you have preferred to see him stay in Europe?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Agree that it is good to bring in good young US nationals, and that many fail – that is natural all over the world. BUt still good to give him a chance near his home town, that is why MLS facilitates these landings for players, its best for them and their family/situation which helps them do the best they can on the field – I support it!

  2. Great signing…a little ray of sunshine for us Quake fans.

    A natural lefty with vision and high soccer IQ. Kinnear sees him more as a central mid, although he also played at LB and LM with Liverpool reserves. I’d rather not see him loaned to Sac, I’d like to see him stay with the Quakes and be slowly integrated into the line up…Like MLS WO said the bar is low in SJ…especially the decision making and underwhelming play from our outside mids.

    Hopefully Pelosi comes through and plays to his pre-injury potential….with Alashe already starting, that would be a youthful combo to be excited about.

    • If Preki were still at Sacramento t would have been great to send Pelosi there for a month to build his game in a low pressure environment with a quality coach. Now that Preki has departed for who knows where, I agree, Pelosi needs to stay in SJ.

  3. adam,

    I’m not saying that Pelosi is going to be a star or even that he’s going to make an impact at San Jose (not a high bar there). His upside is that when he was young he had a good soccer brain and was technically advanced. His downside is that he was also physically larger (i.e.: more mature) than others his age.

    Most u-17 and u-20 stars fail at the senior level no matter what country they’re from. From what I’ve heard though, Pelosi has a much better attitude than Adu.

  4. This allocation and the rules are hilarious. “elite youth U.S. Men’s National Team players” cracks me up. Bravo MLS, if the world cared about this league, it would be the laughing stock of professional sports.

      • What makes him elite . . . . . he was born in Germany.

        In all seriousness, someone who has played for the US Youth national teams at every level, was part of the Bradenton Residency Academy, and was signed as a teenager by Liverpool, I think pretty clearly qualifies as an elite US youth player. The only thing I question is when did Allocation order include youth players. I thought it was just senior team players.

    • RB,

      Don’t worry, MLS/Garber will change the rules again soon to suit their aims, so I wouldn’t get too caught up in the nomenclature.

      Pelosi was one of our best prospects at one point. I hope that he restarts his career in San Jose.

      • so was freddy adu…how many “cant miss” us prospects have actually missed? more than have made it i say…

  5. I had been wondering if an MLS club would pick him up or if he was going to try to stay overseas. He didn’t look very good in the Toulon Tournament, but I’m hopeful that he is still recovering from his injury. He was one of our most promising youth players until his injury so maybe he can make a comeback and contribute in a couple of years. A good get for the Earthquakes since I imagine he came pretty cheaply and there could be a possibly good upside with patient development.

    • From what I’ve heard (2nd/3rd hand so take it as offered) is that the injury set him back massively and that he’s not as confident as he once was. Hopefully being home will help. SJ needs to take their time and play him sparingly this year. If Preki were still at Sacramento, it would have been a great place to send him loan. That helped Thompson coming off of his injury and I think that Preki does a great job with you players especially building their confidence.

    • Short answer: because he wants to play.

      Longer answer: he can live at home while making the league minimum and trying to get his game back.

      Having seen this kid play, he was a major talent when he signed for Liverpool. They really liked him, but is recovery from the broken leg hasn’t gone well and with a club like that, there’s no time to wait. This is a good get for SJ. If he gets his game and confidence back, they have a starter for the 2016 season. If not, they aren’t out much.

    • LAG has the top spot in the allocation order,now but I think SJ had no 1 prior. I think if SJ passed on Pelosi, he very well may have gone to the Galaxy. Which would have set off a whole new round of criticism of the MLS and Galaxy. So now the Galaxy, who have the biggest stacked deck in the MLS, have, the No. 1 allocation position.. This means that any player, who fits under the allocation policy, have to be passed on, by the Galaxy. Thats a pretty big cudgeon and the Galaxy could get another good player, or come away with a hat full of allocation money!

  6. Great signing, keeping in mind that the Quakes have a coach known for developing and maximizing young Americans other clubs failed to tap into their talent vein.


Leave a Comment