San Jose Earthquakes Sign Five Players Prior to Opener Against Galaxy
SAN JOSE, CALIF. - The San Jose Earthquakes announced today the team has signed five players, midfielder Matt Hatzke, forward Adam Smarte and defenders Jay Ayres, Ryan Johnson, Jamil Roberts. Per team and league policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. Hatzke, Smarte, Roberts and Ayres were signed to developmental contracts, while Johnson will occupy a senior roster slot. With Hatzke and Roberts signed, the Earthquakes now have five former Santa Clara University players on the roster.
Ayres joins the Earthquakes after playing four seasons for Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Ayres started 68 games in his college career, registering seven goals and five assists. In 2006 and 2007, Ayres was named Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Atlantic Sun and Atlantic Sun All-Academic. As a freshman, Ayres helped Belmont reach the 2004 Atlantic Sun Championship where he scored his first collegiate goal.
Hatzke, a 2006 and 2007 All-West Coast Conference selection, played 81 games in four years for Santa Clara, scoring four goals and notching seven assists. The San Jose native was named All-WCC Second Team, NSCAA All-Far West Region Second Team and ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American in 2007 after scoring two goals and recording three assists as a senior. Hatzke was drafted by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the fourth round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. The Quakes acquired his rights by trading a fourth round pick in the 2009 MLS Supplemental Draft to the Galaxy.
A former star at Oregon State, Johnson comes to the Quakes after spending a year with Osters IF in Sweden in 2007. He appeared in 11 games in 2007 with the Swedish club. The Jamaican-born Johnson was originally drafted in the third round of the 2006 MLS SuperDraft by Real Salt Lake. He played seven games for RSL before being traded to the Chicago Fire in 2006. He appeared in three matches with the Fire. Johnson made his debut with the Jamaican national team in 2006, playing 70 minutes against the United States. The Earthquakes acquired his rights from the Fire in exchange for a conditional draft pick.
Roberts, a Fremont native, made 80 appearances with Santa Clara, scoring five goals and recording seven assists throughout his career. In 2007, Roberts was selected WCC Defensive Player of the Year, All-WCC First Team, NSCAA All-Far West Region First Team and College Soccer News All-American. He helped lead SCU to four NCAA Tournament appearances in his career. He also played for the U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team in wins over Brazil, Serbia and Montenegro and host Northern Ireland to win the 2005 Milk Cup. He was originally drafted by FC Dallas in the 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft and the Earthquakes acquired his rights by trading a third round pick in the 2009 MLS Supplemental Draft to Dallas.
The Earthquakes' first overall MLS Supplemental Draft pick, Smarte played his college career at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Smarte scored seven goals and recorded four assists to guide the Banana Slugs to a 15-5 record in 2007. He played soccer and track at Laguna Creek High School and club soccer for San Juan Soccer Club.
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