Just a few days before it opens the 2015 Major League Soccer campaign in Houston versus the Dynamo, Crew SC added depth to its roster on Monday with the signings of SuperDraft selections Sergio Campbell, Sagi Lev-Ari and Kalen Ryden. Defenders by trade, Campbell and Ryden, as well as a forward in Lev-Ari, bring needed depth to the Black & Gold roster.
Each player earned their spot on the Crew SC roster after a grueling two-month preseason, and Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter looks forward to his players' development.
"Sergio, Sagi and Kalen have all shown significant progress in training camp making the jump from the collegiate game to professional soccer," Berhalter said in an official club statement. “We look forward to working with these players as they continue to develop. While we will continue to evaluate our roster, we look forward to starting the season with this group.”
For Crew SC's three new additions, signing a professional contract is a dream come true.
"I’m thankful for this opportunity from Columbus Crew SC," said Campbell. "It’s everyone’s dream to play professional soccer as a youth soccer player growing up, so I’m really grateful for it."
Added Ryden: "It’s a great organization here, great coaching staff, a lot of great players. I’m just happy and blessed to have an opportunity to play for an MLS team and excited to get started with this season."
Now that they've signed, the Crew SC rookies' focus shifts to making an impact on the field this season. Following several preseason matches to adjust to the speed of MLS, the 2015 SuperDraft class is confident heading into the regular season.
"It is a completely different system than in college and in the beginning it was a little bit harder, but I feel way better now," Lev-Ari said. "I got adjusted to the speed and adjusted to the coaches and what the coaches want and hopefully I’ll do well during the season."
Crew SC kicks-off its 20th season on Saturday versus the Houston Dynamo (8:30 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel) at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.