San Jose, Calif. - Dan Benton, a former standout goalkeeper for the San Jose State University men’s soccer program, has been signed to a contract by the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer.
Benton was on the Earthquakes’ bench as the back-up goalkeeper behind starter Joe Cannon in a 2-1 home victory over the Houston Dynamo on Thursday night, May 22, at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Benton joined the Earthquakes during the 2008 preseason as their third goalie behind Cannon and Preston Burpo before earning a contract and a senior roster spot when Burpo was traded to the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, May 21. He made his Earthquakes debut in a preseason game against Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Calif., 1-0 shutout victory. He also appeared in a 2-1 defeat of MLS club Columbus Crew and a scoreless draw with D.C. United, also of MLS.
Per team and league policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. Benton will wear uniform number 31 for the Earthquakes, the two-time MLS champions who are in their first season back in the league as an expansion franchise after a two-year absence.
Benton manned the San Jose State net from 2001 to 2004. He joins C.J. Brown as former Spartans currently in Major League Soccer. Brown is in his team-record 11th season in Chicago as the Fire’s career leader in games played (249), games started (245) and minutes played (21,750).
Benton, who ranks 10th on the San Jose State all-time list with 149 saves, spent the past two seasons with the Charlotte Eagles of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Second Division. In his debut for the Eagles in 2006, he posted a shutout, and compiled a 4-3-4 record that season. Benton started and played all but two games in 2007, collecting four shutouts and registering a 9-6-1 mark in goal. He previously played for the Virginia Beach Mariners, then of the USL First Division, in 2005.
Benton started 32 of 35 games played during his Spartan career, including a career-high 18 as a senior in 2004. He posted a career goals-against-average of 1.37 to go along with his 149 saves.