Quakes pick Siad Haji, 19, No. 2 overall in MLS SuperDraft

As the worst team in Major League Soccer last season, the Earthquakes need immediate help.

They got started remaking their roster in Friday’s MLS Superdraft, in which San Jose had five picks.

The Quakes used the second overall pick to select forward Siad Haji, 19, of Virginia Commonwealth. He was named the Atlantic 10 Midfielder of the Year as a junior this season after scoring five goals with 10 assists and was the second-youngest player available in the draft.

“It’s like a dream come true,” Haji said. “I’m so excited for this opportunity, and I’m excited to meet the coaches, players and fans. I’m really ready to work hard.”

The youngest player, 18-year-old UCLA midfielder Frankie Amaya, was selected first overall by expansion Cincinnati, which had 12 picks in the four-round draft. Amaya, who has played for the U.S. under-20 team, was named to the All-Pac-12 first team as a freshman.

Haji is a member of the 2019 Generation adidas class, which is comprised of players signed to MLS contracts before the SuperDraft and do not count against MLS teams’ salary budget.

The Quakes also drafted Seattle University midfielder Sergio Rivas and Simon Fraser University forward Mamadi Camara in the second round with the 26th and 46th overall selections, respectively, but will need to sign them to contracts before they are placed on the roster.

Among local college players, Cal defender Sam Junqua (Saratoga) was selected eighth overall by the Houston Dynamo, and Stanford midfielder Amir Bashti (Cupertino) went in the second round to MLS Cup champion Atlanta United.

Rounds three and four of the SuperDraft will be held Monday.

•MLS is renaming its annual Coach of the Year award to honor the late Sigi Schmid, the winningest coach in league history (266 victories). Schmid, who coached the LA Galaxy, Columbus and Seattle, died last month in Los Angeles while he was awaiting a heart transplant. He was 65.


Kuchar leads

at Sony Open

Matt Kuchar ran off four birdies in five holes to start his second round at the Sony Open in Honolulu on Friday, handled the par-5s at Waialae again and finished with another round of 7-under-par 63 to take a one-shot lead over Andrew Putnam.

Kuchar was at 14-under 126. Putnam, who had a bogey-free 65, was one shot behind.

Chez Reavie (65) and Stewart Cink (62) were four behind.

College football: Andy Ludwig is returning to Utah as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Ludwig, who served in the same position for the Utes from 2005 through ’08, has been offensive coordinator at Vanderbilt since 2015.

Obituaries: Rick Forzano, who was the head coach of the Detroit Lions during the mid-1970s and hired a young Bill Belichick to work on his staff, has died in Allen Park, Mich. He was 90.

Forzano’s staffs in Detroit included future NFL head coaches Raymond Berry, Joe Bugel, Jerry Glanville and Belichick.

•John Michels, a College Football Hall of Famer whose 27 seasons as a Minnesota Vikings assistant coach included all four of their Super Bowl appearances, has died at 87 in Kingsport, Tenn.

Michels, who was a guard on the University of Tennessee’s 1951 championship team, worked on the Vikings’ coaching staff from 1967 through ’93, making him the longest-tenured assistant coach in franchise history. He was the offensive line coach that entire stretch, most of it under head coach Bud Grant, aside from one season as a running backs coach.

•Gus Ganakas, who was the coach of Michigan State’s men’s basketball team from 1969 through ’76 and remained part of the athletic department until his retirement in 2000, has died at 92 in East Lansing.

Ganakas also spent over 30 years as a color commentator for Michigan State games.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Quakes-pick-Siad-Haji-19-No-2-overall-in-MLS-13528304.php.

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