By Jeremy Rubin
With the 12th pick in the first round of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, the San Jose Earthquakes selected former Stanford defender Tanner Beason ’18.
Beason, a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist in 2018 and 2019, anchored Stanford’s defense throughout his tenure on the Farm and found both team and personal success during his time as a Cardinal. He joined the team in 2015 and recently concluded his fifth-year. Despite being forced out for roughly half of his final regular season due to injury, Beason dominanted while he was on the field, finishing with 11 points in just 14 matches.
Just 20 miles from Stanford, the Earthquakes finished 2019 with a 13-16-5 record, and Beason’s presence will help shore up a San Jose defense which gave up 55 goals last season.
“[Stanford’s] environment has been paramount in my growth and success as a person and a player,” Beason said in an interview prior to the draft.
After redshirting his freshman season, the first of three straight NCAA championship-winning seasons for the men’s soccer program, Beason took over as the starting left back to begin the 2016 season. He finished fifth on the team, and with eight points in that season finished with the team’s second-straight championship. In the College Cup final, Stanford defeated Beason’s hometown Wake Forest team in a double-overtime thriller.
The 2017 season, Beason’s redshirt junior year, proved to be no different than the previous two as the Cardinal made it back to the College Cup. To qualify for the Cup, Stanford again had to go through Wake Forest — but this time in Winston-Salem, his hometown.
“This was a pretty cool, full-circle moment for me personally, being able to go [to Winston-Salem] and play in front of a bunch of people that I knew,” Beason said.
Beason and the Cardinal defense maintained a 0.382 goals against average with 16 shutouts in the 2017 campaign, culminating in the program’s third consecutive national title.
His redshirt junior season was his best individual season. Beason was named both the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in a season where the Cardinal fell in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament, just short of a College Cup nomination.
“I’m forever indebted to what this environment has demanded of me and given me in terms of the way it has helped me grow and realize a little bit of potential,” he said.
Beason is the first and only Cardinal to have been selected in the first two rounds of the SuperDraft on Thursday. Senior midfielders Dereck Waldeck and Jared Gilbey remain eligible picks, with the final two rounds, composed of 52 total picks, to be continued via conference call on Monday.