(San Jose, CA)- The San Jose Earthquakes had the number six overall selection in the 2017 MLS Superdraft, and did not hesitate to take a promising player right away. The Earthquakes selected Jackson Yuiell from UCLA with their sixth overall pick. In the second round, they selected Lindo Mfeka, an attacking midfielder from South Florida.
MLS Superdraft: San Jose Earthquakes Select Jackson Yueill and Lindo Mfeka
Who is Jackson Yueill?
Yuiell is a 19 year old midfielder from Bloomington, Minnesota. He is a creative and attacking force in the midfield, but can do the job defensively. If you want to think of a decent comparison for him in the greater scope of the game worldwide, someone like Ander Herrera is a solid comparison. For an American standpoint, Yuiell is extremely similar to Stuart Holden. He isn’t your roving, tackling midfielder. He’s a guy who is going to look to get the ball into the final third, and provide some offensive clout from midfield.
Yuiell played for the last two seasons at UCLA, tallying nine goals and 17 assists in two full seasons. It’s hard to say how much time he will get. I think a lot of it will depend on how well he acclimates to MLS pace and quality. He is a good candidate to get loaned out to Reno, but I’m sure the Quakes would push to get him out if he shows he’s above USL level. Ultimately, he’s a fantastic draft pick for them.
Who is Lindo Mfeka?
Lindo Mfeka, is a solid “pure number ten” from University of South Florida. USF enjoyed a successful year, getting into the first round of the NCAA Tournament. A left footed magician, Mfeka shows really good quality in the final third, 16 goals and 18 assists in four years at USF. He most likely won’t see time for the Earthquakes next year, but with the addition of Reno 1868, gone are the days of the Earthquakes simply releasing players who didn’t make the squad. He’ll have a chance to develop in Reno. He’s good, but not a “finished product” as some might say. I’m sure the Earthquakes would look to see an improvement on the finishing end of things.
Overall, draft day signaled a new era for the Earthquakes. If hiring a new general manager and reshuffling the technical operations of the club didn’t give a hint, then here is some hard proof. Some Quakes fans mentioned that the Earthquakes were drafting for the life and times “Post-Kinnear.” Of course these draftees don’t fit the mold of what the Earthquakes have drafted since they returned.
There is an entirely new set of minds running the ship. The guy who trains the ship remains the same, but the people who say “our ship will look like this, and here are the pieces we need” are entirely different then they were in years past. It’s not drafting “Post-Kinnear,” it’s drafting “Post-Doyle.” Which likely means the days of MLS Dark Age style soccer in the Bay Area is over.