Ampaipitakwong elated to join the Quakes
Anthony Ampaipitakwong was sitting at home switching back and forth between a game on XBox Kinect when his agent called. His destination: San Jose.
After trading their first-round pick to Columbus for forward Steven Lenhart, the Quakes opted to bolster their central midfield with Ampaipitakwong (pronounced: am-PIE-pitak-won).
"He's a good footballer and comes from a great program," said Quakes head coach Frank Yallop. "One thing he can do is keep the ball moving and he does well in the attacking third as well so we're excited to have him."
Ampai, as his teammates at Akron called him, is as savvy of a college player as there was in the 2011 SuperDraft. A four-year letter winner for the Zips, Ampai was one of the core players for an Akron squad that won the 2010 College Cup.
For Zips coach Caleb Porter, seeing Ampai drafted by San Jose was especially memorable. Ampai was Porter's first blue-chip recruit, the foundation for one of the top college soccer programs in America.
"I'll tell you, San Jose has a very good player in [Anthony Ampaipitakwong] and to me it's a steal," said Akron head coach Caleb Porter.
Ampai played a true No. 10 role for the Zips. For San Jose, Ampai will fight for playing time with current USMNT camper Sam Cronin, veteran Andre Luiz and Brad Ring.
The transition to MLS might not be as difficult for Ampai as it will be for others. Seven Akron players were selected in Thursday's SuperDraft, including a record-breaking five in the first eight picks.
"Coach Porter would always tells us, 'This is as professional as it gets at the college level.' Our training sessions at Akron were just unbelievable," Ampai said.
The Quakes will report for camp during the final week of January.