With the 33rd pick in the 2011 MLS Supplement Draft on Tuesday, the San Jose Earthquakes finally got their young goalkeeper.
The Quakes took Philip Tuttle, a fifth-year senior out of Notre Dame, as a potential long-term replacement for incumbent starter Jon Busch, who turned 34 in August.
Tuttle, 23, finished the 2010 season with a 1.11 goals-against average for the Fighting Irish. He started 13 of 20 games for Notre Dame, including the Irish’s season-ending 2-1 overtime loss to Dartmouth in the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s a chance for him to come in and make the roster,” Quakes coach Frank Yallop told MLSsoccer.com. “He’s got good size, at 6-foot-1 and 195, 200 pounds, so he’s a big kid. He’s young, he’s enthusiastic, so he’s the type of kid we were looking for there.”
Tuttle came onto the Quakes’ radar in 2009, when he worked out with the team on the recommendation of goalkeeping coach Jason Batty. Despite Tuttle suffering an injury and having to cut his time short, he made enough of an impression to become San Jose’s first supplemental selection.
The Quakes had long ago traded their first-round Supplemental pick – a fourth-rounder, all told, when combined with last week’s SuperDraft – to Dallas in exchange for defender Aaron Pitchkolan.
“He’s not at the top of the list on everybody’s list, but it’s hard because everybody’s eyes are everywhere,” Yallop said. “Taking somebody we know is better than going with someone we don’t.”
The Quakes will have MLS veterans Andrew Weber and Brian Edwards in training camp to fight for the No. 2 spot, but because of salary-cap concerns, only one of those two is expected to stick, opening the door for Tuttle to make the roster. MLS teams will be required to carry three 'keepers in 2011.
[inline_node:326779]San Jose followed up in the third and final round by reaching out for local product Victor Cortez. The University of San Francisco alum, who turns 22 this month, played all over the pitch while starting 60 of 71 matches and was a teammate of current Quakes starter Brandon McDonald for one year.
Cortez’s versatility was one of the biggest selling points for a player listed by the Dons at 5-foot-8 and 145 pounds.
“Versatility is key,” Yallop said. “He’s high energy, has a high work rate, and we’ll see how he does. He has great enthusiasm, is very much an all-action type of player. … He can play right back, right midfield, up front or in the middle of the park, so that’s a good trait.”
Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com. On Twitter: @sjquakes.