San Jose SuperDraft pick Ousseni Bouda relishes reunion with Stanford teammates

The San Jose Earthquakes' latest SuperDraft pick won't have to go very far to join his new club.

Stanford winger Ousseni Bouda was selected by San Jose with the No. 8 overall selection in Tuesday's 2022 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, keeping the 21-year-old in the same market where he played his college soccer.

One of the NCAA's most dynamic attackers during his two seasons at Stanford, Bouda told reporters on his post-draft video call that he's grown plenty familiar with the club during his time in the Bay Area.

"I know the Earthquakes better than every other team in MLS because they are so close to Stanford," Bouda said. "I've been to several games, I have teammates who are going to be on the team as well. I'm so happy and very excited to get picked by the Earthquakes. I have a flight tomorrow to San Francisco. So I'm excited to come in as early as I can and just get to work. I'm now a professional soccer player, I get to play for a great organization. I literally can't wait to come in and get started."

A native of Burkina Faso in West Africa and identified by Ghana's Right to Dream Academy, Bouda moved to the United States to play at the Millbrook School in New York state, where he scored 156 goals in 82 games and garnered Gatorade Player of the Year honors. That earned him his scholarship to Stanford, where he was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2019 and was a first-team all-conference selection both seasons he played.

"I can play anywhere, left winger, right winger, up top as well, which I played at Stanford in a 4-4-2," Bouda said. "But I would consider myself as a winger that can play on both sides, preferably on the left or even on the right. I think what fans can be expecting from me is a player that's lively, has a lot of speed, can take people on, brings a lot of creativity in front of goal, a player that has developed a lot at Stanford.

"So they should be expecting a lot of speed on the wing, me taking people on 1-v-1, putting in crosses, taking shots from outside the box, staying lively, making runs in behind. They should be expecting some explosiveness and a lot of fun to watch and some skills as well."

The move to San Jose will also reunite Bouda with a couple of his college teammates.

The Quakes boast defender Tanner Beason, who Bouda briefly played with at Stanford. He also overlapped with former Stanford midfielder and San Jose homegrown player Will Richmond, who signed with San Jose on Monday.

"Tanner is a great leader, a great captain," Bouda said. "I came into the locker room and from the first day I looked up to his work ethic and everything he did. He was always on top of stuff. He was our leader. He's been doing well for the Earthquakes as well, so I'm excited to be going in where I know there's a Stanford player that's succeeded already.

"I know Will is a homegrown player so he knows his way around there as well. So, these guys, I'm going to be asking them a lot of questions about things to do and I'm sure Tanner's going to help me assimilate as well. I'm excited to get back to playing with them."

Bouda, one of eight Generation adidas signings this year, won't count against San Jose's salary cap. The club also picked Clemson center back Oskar Agren in the first round (No. 13 overall)