SAN JOSE -- The Earthquakes announced Wednesday they have signed first-round pick JJ Koval, a central midfielder out of Stanford.
Koval, 21, the No. 9 selection overall in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, started all four years with the Cardinal, including earning all-Pac-12 first-team honors in 2013.
Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"I'm very excited. It's been a dream of mine to get an opportunity to play professional soccer for a long time," Koval said in a club release.
In Earthquakes' preseason action, Koval got to play alongside veterans such as U.S. national team players Chris Wondolowski and Clarence Goodson in the team's second match against the Houston Dynamo.
"It was a pleasure playing with both Clarence and Wondo," Koval said recently. "They're very good players, and it was cool to be out there. I know I'm going to learn a lot from them."
Koval, who is 6-foot-1 and known for his vision, simple style and aerial prowess, added that he's adapting to the quick decision-making required against MLS competition.
"I feel like things have been going pretty well, and I want to help the team in any way possible," Koval said. "I'm pushing as hard as I can to be on the field, because I want to contribute as much as I can. I'm taking every day as a day to get better."
Koval, who appeared in 74 matches overall at Stanford, helped the Cardinal to wins over Loyola Marymount and Cal State Northridge in the 2013 NCAA tournament, before Stanford lost in the third round.
Quakes coach Mark Watson has been impressed with Koval's versatility and professionalism.
"JJ's had a good preseason so far," Watson said recently. "He came in really fit. He was our first-round pick and someone we've seen play a lot. We have really high hopes for him"