With his technical staff now in place, Crew Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter is set to observe the talent pool available in next week's MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia. He'll be able to do so at the MLS Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. from Friday to next Tuesday, January 14.
Having already watched a number of the top prospects in person and on video ahead of the combine, Berhalter is looking to get a feel for the players' personalities while in Fort Lauderdale. He notes that player performances in the scrimmages at the combine can be deceiving due to unfamiliar surroundings. The Crew technical staff plans to rely more on the interview process with the draft prospects.
"These guys are coming in unfamiliar settings with unfamiliar teammates and unfamiliar coaches, so we're not relying too heavily on the Combine," Berhalter admitted before leaving for Florida. "Obviously, you want to get to talk to players first hand and hear them, but a lot of the work is being done beforehand and we're watching video and recapping some of the college games we've scouted and getting a good grasp on [the talent] now."
He continued: "You can see their attitude and see their intensity [at the combine]. A lot of times, you can get a gauge of their intelligence and competitiveness. Any type of clue that we can get of the type of person they are will help us make a good decision [in the SuperDraft]."
In addition, with the connections Berhalter and his staff have around the college soccer world, the technical staff has been surveying college coaches around the country for their thoughts on the players available in the SuperDraft.
"We've spoken to a lot [of college coaches]," he said. "Between the staff, we know virtually every college coach in the country. We're pretty well covered in that area."
The MLS SuperDraft takes place on Thursday, January 16 in Philadelphia. Stay tuned to TheCrew.com for exclusive content from the event.