Doyle gets his man in Bay Area 'keeper Bingham

San Jose Earthquakes general manager John Doyle still remembers
watching David Bingham nearly a decade ago as a youth-soccer center
forward.

Now, Doyle gets to employ Bingham as one of the MLS’ brightest goalkeeping prospects.

The
Quakes won the rights to the Cal junior – a late addition to this
year’s Generation adidas class after first going on a week-long tryout
with Fulham of the English Premier League – in a weighted lottery held
Wednesday afternoon.

“It was somebody I’ve known for a long time
and I wanted,” Doyle told MLSsoccer.com. “But when I saw where we were
in the lottery, I said, ‘No chance.’”

The Quakes were ranked fifth
out of 13 teams interested in Bingham’s services, with what the league
said was an 8.8 percent chance of claiming the 2010 second-team
All-American. Nevertheless, the San Francisco Bay Area product wound up
with the team he grew up cheering for – and within driving distance of
his Berkeley college campus, making it that much easier for him to
complete the coursework needed to earn his social welfare degree.

[inline_node:323226]The
result is a huge win for the Quakes, who had been actively searching
for a young goalkeeping prospect to groom behind 34-year-old starter Jon
Busch. Bingham, 21, was considered by many observers to be on a par
with Maryland’s Zac MacMath; MacMath, the only Generation adidas ‘keeper
in the SuperDraft, went fifth to Philadelphia. (Because Bingham didn’t
sign his GA contract until after the draft was completed, he was placed
in the special lottery.)

The 6-foot-2 Bingham posted a
goals-against average of 0.77 last season for Cal, with eight shutouts,
and helped the Golden Bears make it to the NCAA quarterfinals before
being knocked out by eventual champion Akron.

“He’s great with his
feet, he can smash the ball, he’s a good shot-stopper,” Doyle said.
“He’s very talented and has all the attributes of a good MLS ‘keeper.”

With
Busch and Bingham assured spots on the roster, there’s a logjam for the
Quakes’ last goalkeeping slot. MLS veterans Brian Edwards and Andrew
Weber were slated to battle in camp for the backup spot behind Busch,
with Supplemental Draft selection Philip Tuttle of Notre Dame expected
to serve as the No. 3.

“We had four goalkeepers for three spots,” Doyle said. “Now we have five. Obviously, some things have changed.”

Presumably,
Edwards and Weber will continue to fight for the No. 2 spot, with
Tuttle facing daunting odds. If San Jose wanted to maximize their
salary-cap space, however, they could risk the untested Bingham as their
No. 2, with Tuttle in reserve.

Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at sanjosequakes@gmail.com. On Twitter: @sjquakes


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