It took more than seven years, but the San Jose Earthquakes finally got their man, signing United States international Clarence Goodson to a MLS contract on Friday. The Earthquakes had been holding onto Goodson's MLS rights ever since they picked him in the 2007 Expansion Draft.
But rather than play for the reborn Earthquakes, Goodson chose to try his luck in Europe. The centerback initially signed with Norway's IK Start and later moved to Denmark's Bronby. Aside from gaining some level of mild fame as a participant on HGTV's "House Hunters: International", he also carved out a role as a regular on the United States national team. Since breaking in with the national team in 2008, Goodson has accrued 36 caps, including a spot on the 2010 World Cup team. He was also part of the recent call-ups for World Cup qualifying, last starting in the United States' 4-2 loss to Belgium.
"We're very excited to have Clarence join us," Earthquakes interim head coach Mark Watson said in a team release. "He brings a lot of experience both in MLS and internationally. He has great leadership qualities and will be a fantastic addition to our back four."
Goodson should be a welcome addition to the Earthquakes' backline, where he'll likely pair with Victor Bernardez. Between the two of them, they will have more than 100 international appearances.
A year after Bernardez paired with Jason Hernandez to form one of the better and most stable center back tandems in the league, the Earthquakes have struggled defensively. Their 25 goals allowed is the third highest total in MLS.