Crew signs all four SuperDraft selections
The Columbus Crew announced today that it has signed all four of its selections in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. Defender Rich Balchan, forward Justin Meram, and midfielders Cole Grossman and Bernardo Anor have all agreed to terms and will don Black & Gold in 2011. Per club and league policy, no further terms were disclosed.
Balchan, a 6-0 native of Carmel, Ind., was the Crew’s first pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft (No. 12 overall) following a four-year career at perennial national power Indiana University in which he recorded four goals and seven assists in 80 games. He was selected to the 2010 All-Big Ten First Team and was twice named to the Big Ten All Tournament Team. Balchan is also a six-time state champion with his club team, the Carmel United Cosmos III.
Meram was selected with the first-round pick (No. 15 overall) acquired by the Crew from San Jose (along with allocation money) in exchange for Steven Lenhart. A 6-foot-1 native of Shelby Township, Mich., and product of the University of Michigan and Yavapai College, he scored 75 goals and recorded 44 assists in 93 games during a college career in which he was named to the 2010 NSCAA All-Region Second Team and received Second Team All-Big Ten honors in 2009 and 2010. Meram is also a back-to-back NJCAA National Champion as well as National Junior College Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008.
A Duke University product, Grossman was selected in the second round (No. 28). He is a 6-0 native of St. Louis who scored 25 goals and recorded 24 assists in 70 games during his four-year collegiate career. He was a two-time recipient of All-ACC honors and was named to the 2009 NSCAA All-South Region Second Team. He was also named to the All-ACC Freshmen Team in 2007. Grossman trained in Brazil for two years while taking online courses for high school credit before enrolling at Saint Louis University High School, where he was named All-State following his lone high school season.
A native of Venezuela selected in the third round (No. 48 overall), Anor is a speedy, 5-foot-11 forward who briefly trained with the Crew in 2010. A product of the University of South Florida, he led his team in goals (six) and points (15) in his final season at USF.</p>