Players in Opening Rounds of the 2015 MLS SuperDraftColumbus Crew SC today selected two players in the opening rounds of the 2015 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, with the First and Second Rounds held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The Black & Gold picked University of Connecticut and Jamaican National Team defender Sergio Campbell in the First Round (19th overall) as well as California State University-Northridge forward Sagi Lev-Ari in the Second Round (35th overall).
Prior to Campbell's selection in the First Round, Crew SC traded the 14th overall pick to Colorado. In exchange, Crew SC received the Rapids’ 2015 First Round pick (19th overall) and future considerations.
Campbell was the 2014 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and a member of the All-Conference First Team in both 2013 and 2014. Lev-Ari was selected with the 35th overall choice after earning All-Big West Conference First Team honors in 2013 and 2014.
“Sergio Campbell is physically dominating," said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “He was one of the strongest and one of the most agile centerbacks in the Draft. He is 6-foot-4 and can leap vertically over 30 inches, so he is an incredible athlete. He likes to pass the ball and he’ll fit right into our system and gives us a little added height to our backline.”
Continued Berhalter: “Sagi Lev-Ari is a goal scorer. All he wants to do is put the ball in the back of the net, which is something that you can’t teach. To add to that, he was one of the best athletes at the MLS Combine. We think his qualities will fit very well into our style of play."
A towering defender, measuring in at 6-foot-4 and 197 pounds, Campbell notched two assists over four collegiate seasons, with the previous three being spent at UConn. In 2011, Campbell began his collegiate career with eight appearances (seven starts) with Central Arkansas. He transferred to UConn at the beginning of the 2012 season and started every one of UConn's 64 matches over that span.
In 2012, Campbell helped lead a UConn defense that earned a total of 12 shutouts, with Campbell starting all 22 matches. He made a career-best 23 appearances and starts in 2013, again playing every match, earning American Athletic Conference All-First Team honors for a club that again notched 12 clean sheets. He repeated the All-Conference First Team feat in 2014 over 19 starts, adding the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year award to his name.
Campbell is a native of Jamaica, and has made two appearances for the Jamaican National Team senior roster, most recently at the 2010 Caribbean Championship. He has previously captained the Jamaican Under-20 side as well.
Lev-Ari joins Crew SC after three seasons at California State Northridge, totaling 42 goals in 64 appearances (60 starts). Lev-Ari notched double-digit tallies in each of his three seasons with the Matadors, earning All-Big West Conference First Team honors in 2013 and 2014.
In 2013, Lev-Ari recorded 16 goals and six assists, both career highs, and was rewarded with an NSCAA/Continental Tire First Team All-American nod. He was also a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy that year. Prior to joining California State Northridge, he played one season at Monroe College, helping his team to a second-place NJCAA Division I national finish.
The Black & Gold begin their 20th season on March 7 at Houston and return home for the Opening Match at Crew Stadium on Saturday, March 14 against Toronto FC. In celebration of the 20th campaign, the club is offering free customization to any fan that pre-orders his or her 2015 jersey. Once the jerseys have been revealed to the public, fans can select either the primary or secondary jersey along with any name and number they wish to add at no additional charge. This offer will be available at the Crew SC Shop at Crew Stadium or CrewSCShop.com. The pre-sale opportunity ends February 28.
TRANSACTIONS: Crew SC selects University of Connecticut defender Sergio Campbell in the First Round (19th overall) as well as California State University-Northridge forward Sagi Lev-Ari in the Second Round (35th overall) in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Prior to Campbell's selection in the First Round, Crew SC traded the 14th overall pick to Colorado. In exchange, Crew SC received the Rapids’ 2015 First Round pick (19th overall) and future considerations.
Name: Sergio Campbell
Name: Sagi Lev-Ari
Born: July 4, 1989 in Haifa, Israel
Hometown: Haifa, Israel
Acquired: Selected in the Second Round (35th overall) in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft on January 15, 2015
Previous Experience: California State University-Northridge (2012-2014), Monroe College (2011).