Former Belmont University and Nashville Metro soccer standout Jay Ayres has signed to play for the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer, the top professional league in the United States. Ayres, a central defender, was a two-time Atlantic Sun Conference Defensive Player of the Year, a two-time Atlantic Sun Conference First Team selection and an All-South Region player. The Valrico, Fla. native was a four year starter and a two year captain at Belmont. Moreover, Ayres, who graduated this past December with a degree in accounting, was a three-time Academic All-Conference honoree.
“We are all very proud of Jay, and his success is an example of the quality coming out of Belmont Soccer and the Atlantic Sun,” Belmont head men’s soccer coach Earle Davidson said. “MLS is the soccer equivalent in the United States of the NFL or the NBA. To have one of our players graduate and go directly into the top level of soccer in our country is a tremendous accomplishment.”
Ayres signed a developmental contract and was in uniform Thursday evening as San Jose opened its MLS regular season against David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Major League Soccer Season runs from April through the end of November.