SAN JOSE -- Alexandre Gonzalez Emerson, the San Jose native who grew up in Mexico, signed with the Earthquakes, the striker confirmed Friday.
Gonzalez Emerson, who turned 21 on Wednesday, is one of a handful of young players the Quakes signed just before the 2013 season begins this weekend.
The team announced the signings of rookies Adam Jahn of Stanford and Tommy Muller of Georgetown and the acquisition of Trinidadian Cordell Cato from the Seattle Sounders for a fourth round draft pick in 2014.
Gonzalez Emerson said in Spanish that he was ecstatic about the signing.
"I plan to work hard and hope I get to play," he said.
The 5-foot-9 striker left San Jose with his family at age 3 and grew up in Jalisco, where he rose through a youth academy at Necaxa. He arrived in San Jose in January asking for a tryout and thus far has remained with the team.
Cato, 20, had one assist in eight appearances during his first MLS season in 2012 for Seattle. The midfielder has shown speed but rawness during the preseason.
Coach Frank Yallop likes Gonzalez Emerson and Cato's upside, hoping the young players can development.
"We'll know in a month," he said. "If I don't think they've got it I won't keep them around."
Muller, 21, was San Jose's first round pick at No. 15 overall after leading the Hoyas to the College Cup last year. The 5-foot-11 center back is expected to provide depth behind regulars Victor Bernardez and Jason
Jahn, 22, was a four-year starter for Stanford before the Earthquakes selected him in the supplemental draft. The target man had 16 goals and 10 assists in 65 career appearances for the Cardinal.
"It didn't feel as strong as I would like it to feel," said Gargan, picked up from Chicago in the re-entry draft. "I don't need to be out there today."
Gargan, listed as probable for Sunday's season opener against Real Salt Lake, is expecting to make his San Jose debut. "It's about as frustrating as it gets," he said. "You can't wait to prove yourself to teammates."
If Gargan isn't ready Yallop will play either Ty Harden or rookie Peter McGlynn of UC Santa Barbara at right back.
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865 and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.