Transfer Tracker

San Jose Earthquakes sign first-round MLS SuperDraft pick Daniel Munie

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The San Jose Earthquakes have signed 2023 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas pick Daniel Munie to a first-team contract, the club announced Friday.

The 23-year-old defender had been in preseason training camp with the Quakes following his SuperDraft selection (No. 10 overall) out of Indiana University, scoring goals in exhibition matchups against Monterey Bay FC and Minnesota United. Munie's contract runs through the 2023 season and includes club options through 2026.

“We’re excited to sign Daniel to a first-team contract,” said San Jose general manager Chris Leitch said in a release. “We strongly felt he was among the best central defenders in this draft class, and we were impressed by his performance throughout preseason.”

Munie makes the jump to MLS with San Jose after a standout collegiate career at Indiana, where he became the second player ever to earn back-to-back Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors (2021-2022). He was also a United Soccer Coaches Third-Team All-America selection in each of the past two years, helping lead the Hoosiers to NCAA Division I national championship appearances in 2020 and 2022.

The signing reinforces the center back depth chart for San Jose under first-year head coach Luchi Gonzalez, adding another body to the position group after a blockbuster trade for former Columbus Crew captain Jonathan Mensah on Feb. 10. That trade came on the heels of the news that Nathan, one of the presumed starters in central defense, suffered a torn ACL in preseason that will sideline him indefinitely.

Mensah projects to slot in beside Rodrigues (on loan from Brazilian side Grêmio) as the first-choice starter, with Munie likely competing for rotational minutes along with Tanner Beason, Casey Walls and Oskar Ågren. The Quakes open their 2023 MLS campaign Saturday with a road matchup against Eastern Conference foe Atlanta United (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).