Stanford men’s soccer captain JJ Koval was selected ninth overall by the San Jose Earthquakes during Thursday’s MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia.
He is the 18th Stanford player to be selected in the MLS SuperDraft, which from 1996-99 was known as the College Draft, and the sixth first-round selection. Koval will join former Stanford standout Adam Jahn with the Earthquakes.
Koval will also be joined in the league by sophomore Aaron Kovar, who last weekend signed a homegrown contract with the Seattle Sounders.
Koval, a center midfielder and two-time All-Pac-12 selection, was one of the top midfielders in the nation in 2013 and drew wide praise from scouts and observers for his performance at the MLS Combine last weekend in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Over his four-year career, Koval started all but one of the 74 games in which he wore the Cardinal kit. Stanford’s center midfielder, he served as the main possession man and distributor for the Cardinal, in addition to earning respect for his standout aerial game. Koval also managed to find his way into the attacking third, scoring six goals and assisting on four others while at Stanford.
After earning All-Pac-12 honorable mention in 2012, Koval enjoyed his finest season on The Farm as a senior in 2013. In addition to scoring a pair of goals with an assist, Koval, now team captain, demonstrated strong two-way play, helping out on the Cardinal defense which allowed just 1.13 goals per game.His play and leadership was key in helping Stanford go 10-7-4 and reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009. In the postseason the Cardinal advanced to the Round of 16 before falling to Washington. Koval’s play throughout the campaign earned numerous accolades, including a spot on the All-Pac-12 First Team, the NSCAA All-Far West Region Second Team and Top Drawer Soccer’s Best XI Second Team.