Quakes Sign Three Players From Reno 1868 FC
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes have signed three players from the club’s USL affiliate Reno 1868 FC: defender Jimmy Ockford and midfielders Luis Felipe and Chris Wehan. The trio helped Reno tally a 17-7-8 record, reach the USL playoffs in their inaugural season, finish atop the league in goal differential (+36) and set the USL single-season goals record (75).
“We are very excited to welcome these three players from our affiliate in Reno,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “Reno has been a great asset to us and had a tremendous inaugural season in 2017. Jimmy, Chris and Luis Felipe were a major reason for their success and we are looking forward to their contributions and continued development in San Jose.”
Ockford, 25, started 31 of Reno’s 32 regular season games this season, led the team in minutes played (2,669) and anchored the club’s defense en route to 10 shutouts. Ockford was also among the league’s top-scoring defenders with four goals and won more than 80% of his aerial duels. He was named a 2017 USL Second-Team All-League selection in 2017.
After playing collegiately at both Mount St. Mary’s (2010-12) and Louisville (2013), Ockford was selected in the second round (No. 21 overall) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft by Seattle Sounders FC. He spent his first season on loan with the NASL’s New York Cosmos, scoring in both his U.S. Open Cup and league debuts. He helped New York reach the semifinals of the postseason and record the second-best goals-against average in the league. After spending the 2015 season with Sounders 2, he returned to the New York Cosmos on loan in 2016, with the club posting the best regular season record (20-7-5) and winning the championship, Soccer Bowl 2016.
Luis Felipe, 21, signed with Reno after the start of the season, finishing with 27 appearances (16 starts), five goals and three assists.
Born in New York with Brazilian roots, Luis Felipe helped Cruzeiro’s youth academy in Brazil win numerous international tournaments from 2008-15. Eligible for international competition with both the United States and Brazil, Luis Felipe chose to play for his nation of berth and competed for the U.S. U-20s under head coach Tab Ramos. He later signed with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in January of 2016, where he would go on to lead the team in minutes played and earn a nomination for the NASL’s Young Player of the Year.
Wehan, 23, is the reigning USL Assists Champion and USL Rookie of the Year Award winner after tallying a league-high 12 assists and scoring eight goals for Reno during his first professional season. He was named a 2017 USL First-Team All-League selection in 2017.
A native of Orange, Calif., Wehan played collegiately at the University of New Mexico, where he recorded 31 goals and eight assists over 80 appearances. He signed with Reno shortly after going undrafted during the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. He also competed in the Premier Development League with OC Blues Strikers (2013) and Seattle Sounders FC U-23 (2014).
Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) – Earthquakes sign D Jimmy Ockford, M Luis Felipe and M Chris Wehan.