COLUMBUS – The Columbus Crew selected two players in the Third Round of the 2014 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, held today via conference call. The Black & Gold used the 42nd overall pick to select midfielder Kingsley “Fifi” Baiden from University of California Santa Barbara while Adam Bedell – a midfielder/forward from the University of Detroit Mercy that participated in the Crew’s 2013 College Combine – was selected with the 45th overall pick.
The Black & Gold held two Third Round selections today: the club’s natural Third Round pick (42nd overall) and the 45th overall selection from Vancouver following this morning’s trade that sent Whitecaps FC one of the Crew’s 2014 international slots. Last Thursday, the Crew added University of South Florida defender Ben Sweat in the First Round (14th overall) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. All three SuperDraft selections will compete for a spot on the First Team roster, entering the club’s preseason camp un-signed.
“We selected two players today that we’ve followed for a while,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “Fifi is a guy I saw play when I was out in California and I kept an eye on him. We feel like he’s a mobile, tenacious type of number six who can help the team. Adam stood out at our Combine last December and is a good example of the depth of this region’s player pool. We’re excited to have both players aboard in preseason.”
Baiden (pronounced: “Fee-fee” “BAY-den”), a holding midfielder, recorded two goals and four assists in 76 games played – including 63 starts – during his college career at University of California Santa Barbara. A 2013 preseason All-American, Baiden was named to the All-Big West Second Team following his senior season and was the only holding midfielder listed in Top Drawer Soccer’s list of top 10 midfielders in the country. As a junior, Baiden earned All-Big West First Team honors for his defensive play in the UCSB midfield.
Born in Accra, Ghana, Baiden played with the Santa Barbara Soccer Club U-19 Gold squad and was a finalist at the 2010 National Cup. He played at Dunn School in Los Olivos, Calif. and was named his club’s Most Valuable Player in his final three seasons.
At 6-foot-6, Bedell (pronounced: “ba-dell”), scored 23 goals and recorded 22 assists in his four-year college career at University of Detroit Mercy. In his freshmen season, he played in all 19 matches – including 17 starts – and led the team in assists with eight, tying a school single-season assist record at 10th all-time. In his sophomore season in 2011, he added three goals and four assists before a breakout season as a junior. In 2012, Bedell was named Horizon League Player of the Year, Horizon League Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-League with his League-leading 11 goals. His five assists that season were also tied for the League-lead. In his senior season, he was selected to his second consecutive Horizon League First Team and First Team All-Horizon League. Bedell added eight goals and five assists in his final year on the Titans squad.
Bedell was a participant in the Crew’s College Combine, hosted by the Crew’s First Team technical staff on December 14, 2013. The Livonia, Michigan native also played for the Crew Soccer Academy Wolves program in Michigan.
The Crew begins the 2014 season at D.C. United on Saturday, March 8. Before then, the club continues preparation for preseason training. For more information on catching the Black & Gold in 2014 – visit TheCrew.com/tickets.
TRANSACTIONS: Columbus Crew selects Kingsley “Fifi” Baiden from University of California Santa Barbara with the fourth pick in the Third Round (42nd overall) and selects Adam Bedell with the seventh pick in the Third Round (45th overall) from the University of Detroit Mercy.
Name: Kingsley “Fifi” Baiden
Pronunciation: “Fee-fee” “BAY-den”
Born: November 11, 1991 in Accra, Ghana
Hometown: Ajumako, Ghana
Acquired: Selected in the Third Round (42nd overall) in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
Previous Experience: University of California Santa Barbara (2010-2013)
Name: Adam Bedell
Born: December 1, 1991 in Livonia, Michigan
Hometown: Livonia, Michigan
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Selected in Third Round (45th overall) in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
Previous Experience: University of Detroit Mercy (2010-2013)