Barklage Arrives to Shore up Quakes' Right Back Spot
San Jose Earthquakes coach Mark Watson's point was clear. Brandon Barklage is with the club to effectively replace right back Steven Beitashour, who was dealt to the Vancouver Whitecaps for allocation money last month.
That said, Watson was through talking about Beitashour.
Barklage, formerly with the New York Red Bulls and before that, D.C. United, was taken in December's MLS re-entry draft. He'll get every chance to lock up the position on the field for San Jose.
Barklage said his contribution on offense for New York was what worked well for him in 2013.
"Put my work in on the defensive said, but also be able to push forward and feel a little bit free from that right back position," Barklage said. "I just look to keep on improving."
Barklage enters his sixth MLS season but saw most of his action in his career over the past two in New York. He's a goal scoring threat, but acknowledges he could be used differently with the Quakes.
"The forwards on this team like to work their butts off, so I think it's going to be a lot of service into the box," Barklage said. "That''ll give me a little bit more freedom on the flank."
Watson said the club was fortunate to land Barklage.
"He's at a great age (27). He's had bunch of good seasons after having injuries issues. Had a great year with New York," Watson said. "Brandon's a good technical player. He's a good defender, great character, can get forward and he's great at crossing the ball. He's someone that's going to fit in really well"
Barklage was with the club in Tucson, Arizona for the first phase of preseason training. He's focusing on getting match-fit and getting familiar with his teammates. He also had been looking for a place to live with his wife, an abode in the hills near Santa Cruz, Calif. his preferred spot.
"A little bit remote, which is right up my alley, " Barklage said.
Barklage joins San Jose at a historic time for the franchise. The club has new logo and jerseys in celebration of 40 years of existence, a new direction with Watson in his first full season and a new stadium that will be ready for the 2015 season.
"It's a perfect time to come in," Barklage said. "Next year is going to be the special year for all of us, so hopefully we're still around then."
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