With less than a month left before the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, the Crew technical staff has a leg up on its competition after observing some of the Midwest's best college players in a combine held at The Ohio State University on Saturday. Twenty-three players from 12 colleges through the region accepted the Crew's invitation and attended the event.
"We were really pleased with how the combine worked out," Director of Soccer Operations Asher Mendelsohn said. "It was a great opportunity to get to work with some of the best players in the Midwest coming out of college and to have some good conversations with their college coaches. We're really grateful for the effort the players put it and we're very appreciative of Ohio State in helping us put on this event.
"It's something we'd like to continue in the future."
The combine included physical drills, tactical discussions and game-like situations for the players.
"We put them through our own series of physical diagnostics," Mendelsohn explained. "We had a chance to sit down with players a little bit and talk about style of play and see them in a couple of different game settings to be able to evaluate their potential to play at the next level."
Having already gotten an up-close look at the regional talent, the club's technical staff is confident it can find an impact player in next month's SuperDraft. The Black & Gold will select fourth overall in the Draft.
"The combine and a lot of the efforts we've been doing since we came on board are just about collecting more information so we can make better decisions as we put our roster together," Mendelsohn said.
"Right now we feel very good about where we are and we think there might be a couple guys [in the SuperDraft] that can help us next year."