Columbus Crew SC pulled back the curtain and gave fans a behind-the-scenes look into the Front Office’s approach to the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, as the Crew selected the University of San Diego’s Miguel Berry seventh overall, Saint Mary’s College’s Remi Prieur 47th overall, and Providence College’s Danny Griffin 49th overall on Thursday, Jan. 9 in front of a public audience inside the Upper 90 Lounge at MAPFRE Stadium.
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Exactly one year after Tim Bezbatchenko and Caleb Porter’s introduction to the Club, Bezbatchenko, Porter, and Pat Onstad spoke publicly to attending fans about the club’s approach to the SuperDraft and what they saw in their top pick, Berry, a forward who made 72 appearances (69 starts), scoring 38 goals and providing 16 assists in four seasons at San Diego.
“When you look at Miguel Berry, like I said, he’s an interesting prospect. He has a big frame, he’s got nice feet, he comes from the Barcelona kind-of school. He scored goals and he’s got a pro coach who was my coach in San Jose with the Clash, who has worked with him and knows him really well and is a staple in San Diego, Brian Quinn, and he just raved about this kid and raved about his mentality, and he knows him better than anybody,” Porter said. “So that made a difference for sure when it got to that point based on maybe some other guys we could have picked. But it pretty much fell the way we thought it would.”
Notably, Berry was a semifinalist for the 2019 MAC Hermann National Player of the Year award in addition to being named a 2019 All-American and the West Coast Conference’s 2019 Co-Player of the Year.
When asked about the club’s decision to draft Berry,Bezbatchenko explained the targeted trajectory for him and his skillset.
“He’s got to, just like all the other players and our Academy players, come into preseason and prove himself. But the expectation is that, yes, that we would sign him to a contract and he would make our team,” Bezbatchenko said.
“His love for soccer, his athleticism, his versatility, his size, his ability to hold the ball up but he has good feet and he scores goals,” Bezbatchenko said on what caught the staff’s attention. “So, it’s pretty simple when you look at someone like that. To find someone with that size that has [that skillset] is hard.”
Following the Crew’s selection of Berry and brief panel-style speeches from Porter, Bezbatchenko, and Onstad, the technical staff resumed their draft duties in front of onlooking supporters as the Club called in their selections for Prieur and Griffin.
The final two rounds of the SuperDraft will take place on Monday, Jan. 13 via a conference call.