6. San Jose Earthquakes: Tyler Polak, DF, Creighton
The best full back available in the draft and a Generation adidas player, Polak was picked over the deep field of attacking midfielders due to his consistent and solid defensive play both at Creighton and with the U.S. U-17 national team. Additionally, he boasts a good deal of speed and can contribute going forward. While he will have some work to do in transitioning to the professional game, he offers a bit more upside than Justin Morrow -- who started the end of 2011 for the Earthquakes -- and can learn under the tutelage of MLS old hand Ramiro Corrales, who will likely need a deputy as he enters his 17th professional season. Finally, the Earthquakes seem to be looking abroad to fill their need at attacking midfielder (Simon Dawkins and John Bostock are rumored loan signings from Tottenham) and have Anthony Ampaipitakwong and Rafael Baca at that position entering their sophomore seasons, where we can expect to see more of them, making the selection of a left back of Polak's quality here more sensible.
25. Earthquakes: Tommy Meyer, DF, Indiana
Considering that Nana Attakora's contract renewal still up in the air, Bobby Burling left in the expansion draft and Ike Opara has managed just 1,399 minutes of playing time over two seasons, getting some cover at center back would be a smart move for the Earthquakes, even with the addition of Honduras' Victor Bernardez. Meyer is a strong central defender who is good in the air, though he is not the fastest player. Furthermore, he is technically sound for a center back, can play out of the back and is one of the more MLS-ready players in this year's draft class. All these qualities make him a good pickup for a team needing some cover at the back early in the second round.
33. Earthquakes: Brian Ownby, F, Virginia
Ownby's selection gives the Earthquakes a dose of speed that was needed by the frontline. Frank Yallop has talked this offseason about bringing in players with the pace to get behind opposition defenses, and while recent acquisitions Shea Salinas and Marvin Chavez can offer that on the wings, the Earthquakes have none of that kind of threat up front, making Ownby a logical choice. The former U.S. U-20 international has struggled with injury, but looks healthy entering the Combine. In addition to his speed, Ownby is capable with the ball at his feet, boasts a decent shot, and is not averse to tracking back, qualities that make him an attractive prospect for a team that places high value on hard work and is looking to take the goalscoring burden off Chris Wondolowski.
These picks were made by Nicholas Rosano. In addition to covering the Earthquakes for Goal.com and CSN-Bay Area, he also writes for FMF State of Mind.