SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes selected University of California forward Thomas Williamson with the 12th overall selection in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday. San Jose has now drafted a local collegiate player 12th overall in consecutive seasons after selecting Stanford defender Tanner Beason in 2020.
The Quakes also drafted North Carolina State midfielder George Asomani in the second round (No. 39) before passing on their third-round selection (No. 66). Neither of the two players selected by San Jose held pre-signed contracts with MLS and will need to sign with the club before being placed on the roster.
“We knew Thomas well because he’s a local player that we’ve been scouting heavily,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “He’s a player that has a physical presence, a good technical foundation, and high soccer intelligence. We realized immediately how excited he is to join San Jose and it was important for us to find someone with a passion for our club. We also have a strong relationship with his head coach at Cal, Kevin Grimes, and were impressed by his recommendation for the player.
“We were not sure that George was going to be available in the second round and consider ourselves fortunate to be able to select him. He’s a central midfielder that covers a lot of space, both defensively and in possession. We are going give him the necessary time to transition to MLS, but believe he is a promising prospect.”
Williamson, 21, competed for the Golden Bears for three years (2017-19) but did not play in 2020 due to a COVID-related postponement of the Pac-12 season. Williamson finished his collegiate career with nine goals in 45 appearances. The Anaheim Hills native had a breakout season as a junior in 2019, making 18 appearances, 12 starts and scoring a team-high nine goals, including three game-winning goals, to earn All-Pac-12 Conference Second Team honors. He also earned Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention recognition in 2018.
Williamson previously played for Strikers FC in Orange County, scoring 48 goals across three U.S. Soccer Development Academy seasons.
“I’m extremely excited to get started with San Jose,” said Williamson soon after being selected. “They’re a team that I’ve followed for a long time and I’m looking forward to staying in the Bay Area. I’ve followed Wondo [Chris Wondolowski] since I was a little kid. It will be a privilege to play with him and learn from him.”
Asomani, 21, spent two years at North Carolina State, starting in each of his 25 appearances across the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He was named to the 2019-20 ACC Academic Honor roll and also the Preseason All-ACC Watchlist in 2020.
Prior to NC State, Asomani played two seasons at Monroe College in New York, where he was a two-time NJCAA All-American and the 2018 Regional Championship Player of the Year. He was also part of the New York Cosmos’ system prior to joining Monroe College.
Weight: 175 lbs.
Born: May 5, 1999
Hometown: Anaheim Hills, Calif.
Preferred Foot: Right
College: University of California
Weight: 135 lbs.
Born: March 16, 1999
Preferred Foot: Right
Hometown: Accra, Ghana
College: North Carolina State University
Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) – Earthquakes select Cal forward Thomas Williamson (No. 12 overall) in the first round, and North Carolina State midfielder George Asomani (No. 33) in the second round.