NEW YORK -- Defender Ryan Cochrane was selected first in the MLS expansion draft Wednesday, three days after helping the Houston Dynamo win a second straight MLS Cup title.
Cochrane will return to San Jose for the inaugural season of the reborn Earthquakes. He played for the Earthquakes in 2004 and 2005 before the team disbanded and then essentially became the Dynamo. He was one of three Houston starters left unprotected by coach Dominic Kinnear.
Each team was allowed to protect 11 players, and San Jose manager Frank Yallop was permitted to chose a maximum of 10 with no more than one from each club.
FC Dallas defender Clarence Goodson was chosen second, followed by midfielders Ned Grabavoy of Columbus, James Riley of New England, Joe Vide from New York, Ivan Guerrero of Chicago and Brian Carroll of D.C. United, Chivas USA defender Jason Hernandez, Los Angeles midfielder Gavin Glinton and Toronto FC midfielder Chris Pozniak.
The 24-year-old Cochrane started 25 regular-season games for Houston this year. Also left unprotected by Houston were two considerably older players -- goalkeeper Pat Onstad, 39, and defender Craig Waibel, 32.