San Jose Earthquakes Anchor Their Defensive Line with a Trio of Moves

By Juan Pablo Aravena
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Earthquakes entered the offseason with a severe need to improve their defensive line and while they haven’t added any marquee signing so far, they surely added depth at all positions with three signings they announced earlier today.

The Californian team has completed moves to bring Brandon Barklage, Shaun Francis and Bryan Meredith into the squad and they all figure to have an important role with the team during the season.

Barklage and Francis were both selected in the MLS Re-Entry Draft Stage 2 last month and they are experienced players that can add some much needed stability to San Jose’s back four. Barklage spent the last two seasons with the New York Red Bulls where he appeared in 45 contests, notching two goals and 10 assists, so he has the potential to be an effective passer from the defensive side of the pitch.

27-year-old Francis, on the other hand, has spent his last four years in the MLS and he is also a member of the Jamaican National Team. He has already played for Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire and his international experience figures to be very important in the back line.

Meredith is more of a prospect at this point and he figures to be a move that will add depth more than anything else. The 24-year-old has a season abroad – in Norwegian side IK Brage – under his belt, but he is clearly a few steps below Francis and Barklage in the depth chart.

None of these moves will figure to make a marquee impact, but they are all solid players that will add experience and quality to San Jose’s defensive line. Their backline should be much improved for the upcoming season and that is a great sign going forward for the team.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google

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