NEWS: Earthquakes Select Stanford Defender Tanner Beason in First Round of 2020 MLS SuperDraft

2020 SuperDraft picks

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes selected Stanford University center back Tanner Beason with the 12th overall selection in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday. Beason was one of two pre-signed seniors and will automatically be placed on the team’s 2020 roster.

The Quakes also drafted University of North Carolina midfielder Jack Skahan and UMBC left back Jon Bell in the second round with the 27th and 38th overall selections, respectively, but will need to sign them to contracts before they are placed on the roster.

“We’re extremely excited and optimistic about the outcome of the first two rounds,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “We had followed Tanner for several years and were pleasantly surprised to see him still available at No. 12. Jack and Jon are also players with strong profiles, and we’ll create individualized plans to help them develop.”

Beason, 22, was a four-year starter for the Cardinal. During his storied collegiate career, he was an NCAA National Champion three times (2015; 2016; 2017), First Team All-American twice (2018; 2019), First Team All-Pac-12 twice (2017; 2018), and the Pac-12 Player of the Year once (2018). He was also among 15 MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalists in both 2018 and 2019 as the nation’s top collegiate player. He finished his time at Stanford with 20 goals and 11 assists in 81 appearances, all of which were starts.

After redshirting as a true freshman in 2015, Beason started every match for Stanford over the next three years. He was used at left back in 2016 and 2017 before swiftly replacing top SuperDraft selection Tomas Hilliard-Arce at center back the following season. He made 35 starts across 2018-19 at center back, earning Pac-12 Player of the Year honors in 2018 and First Team All-America honors both years.

In mlssoccer.com’s final mock draft, Beason was projected to be taken sixth overall.

Skahan, 21, was a four-year starter for the Tarheels, totaling 12 goals and 12 assists across 71 appearances (60 starts). He earned All-ACC Second Team honors in 2019 and All-ACC Third Teams honors in 2018.

The Skahan-led Tarheels finished with the best regular-season record in the ACC Coastal Division in 2016, 2017 and 2018, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament all three seasons. UNC also reached the ACC Tournament Final in 2018.

He formerly competed for the Philadelphia Union Academy and received call-ups to the U.S. U-16 National Team.

Bell, 22, was a critical player for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County over the past four seasons, playing left back and in the midfield. He tallied one goal and eight assists in 56 appearances, including 53 starts. He earned Second Team All-America East Conference honors in each of the past two seasons.

Bell was a former member of the United States U-20 National Team.

The final two rounds of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft will be held via conference call on Monday, Jan. 13.

Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) – Earthquakes select Stanford defender Tanner Beason (No. 12 overall) in the first round, and UNC midfielder Jack Skahan (No. 27) and UMBC defender Jon Bell (No. 38) in the second round of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.

Tanner Beason

Pronunciation: BEE-sun

Position: Defender

Height: 6-1

Weight: 175 lbs.

Born: March 23, 1997

Hometown: Winston-Salem, N.C.

Preferred Foot: Left

College: Stanford University

Jack Skahan

Pronunciation: SKAY-un

Position: Midfielder

Height: 5-10

Weight: 165 lbs.

Born: Feb. 7, 1998

Preferred Foot: Right

Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.

College: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Jon Bell

Position: Defender

Height: 6-1

Weight: 175 lbs.

Born: Aug. 26, 1997

Preferred Foot: Left

Hometown: Silver Springs, Md.

College: University of Maryland, Baltimore County