ST. LOUIS, Mo - Saint Louis Football Club has announced the signing of St. Louis native and MLS veteran Brandon Barklage for the 2015 USL season.
“It’s going to be great to get home and represent my hometown as a member of Saint Louis FC,” Barklage said. “I’ve been in talks with the club for the past month or so, and they’ve treated my family and I with nothing but respect.”
Barklage, 28, comes to Saint Louis FC from the San Jose Earthquakes of MLS. Last season, he made his Earthquakes debut against the New England Revolution on March 29. Barklage started in 10 of 13 appearances in his first season with San Jose.
The St. Louis native began his MLS career after being drafted by D.C. United in the 3rd Round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.
After three seasons with D.C., Barklage joined the New York Red Bulls. Barklage quickly acclimated into his new role at right back with New York, helping the club to three consecutive clean sheets during May 2012.
Despite spending the last five seasons in the top flight of American soccer, Barklage said he’s been impressed by the quality he’s seen out of USL and STL FC, and is excited to join the squad later this week.
“I got to see a bit of the game on Saturday against Tulsa, and I thought the team looked great,” Barklage added. “Hopefully I can play a leadership role and help some of the younger guys develop.”
Barklage played his prep soccer at CBC High School, where he scored 16 goals and finished the 2004 season ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the nation by NSCAA. Barklage also assisted his club team, Scott Gallagher, to a USYSA National Championship in 2004.
Moving to the collegiate level, the defender began his career at the University of New Mexico before transferring to Saint Louis University. As a senior with the Billikens, Barklage was named to the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Season and was a Second Team All-Atlantic 10 selection.
“How exciting for St. Louis soccer fans to be able to watch Brandon in the prime of his career,” STL FC Head Coach Dale Schilly said. “Brandon possesses the technical base and skill level to fit perfectly into our style of play, so his impact on the team will be immediate. He also has the athletic ability and competitiveness to help disrupt the opposition's flow.
"Brandon has had some great experiences in his career and has been a part of some special locker rooms. Those experiences will help lead some of our younger guys through their first professional experience."
Barklage will be with STL FC for the club’s final preseason game this weekend at Tulsa Roughnecks FC.