Feb 15, 2014; Fresno, CA, USA; San Jose Earthquakes defender Joe Sofia (27) hits a header against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the second half at Chukchansi Park. The Galaxy defeated the Earthquakes 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose Earthquakes Add Rookie Defenders Joe Sofia, Cal’s Ryan Neil


The San Jose Earthquakes announced Friday they have come to terms with a pair of rookie defenders with Pac-12 roots—former UCLA standout Joe Sofia and Ryan Neil, who was a two-time All-Pac-12 second team selection during his career at Cal.

Sofia, 22, was taken by the Quakes in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft after helping the Bruins reach the third round of the NCAA tournament as a senior. He had five goals and eight assists in 82 games at UCLA and was a three-time All-Pac-12 selection.

Neil, 22, was taken 18th overall in the MLS SuperDraft by Real Salt Lake, but was not signed. He had a goal and four assists for the Golden Bears last season as they made it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA College Cup. He played 67 games at Cal, starting 48, and scored two goals to go with 13 assists.

That comes on the heels of this week’s signing of German veteran Andreas Gorlitz. Gorlitz, 32, spent 12 years in the professional ranks in Germany. The right back spent four seasons with Bundesliga power Bayern Munich (2004-07, 2008-10), making 24 appearances.

He played the last three seasons with FC Ingolstadt in the lower-tier 2 Bundesliga, scoring one goal in 63 games. He also had two caps for the German national team in 2004, playing in friendlies against Brazil and Iran.

The Earthquakes will play the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Deportivo Toluca FC from Mexico’s Liga MX on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium and open their MLS regular season slate on March 15 against Real Salt Lake, also at Buck Shaw Stadium.

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Tags: Andreas Gorlitz Joe Sofia Ryan Neil San Jose Earthquakes