Columbus Crew SC today announced that it has signed three of the club's 2015 MLS SuperDraft choices: defender Sergio Campbell, forward Sagi Lev-Ari and defender Kalen Ryden. The signings at the conclusion of the club's preseason bring the Black & Gold's active roster to 28 members entering the 2015 Major League Soccer campaign. Per club and MLS policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
"Sergio, Sagi, and Kalen have all shown significant progress in training camp making the jump from the collegiate game to professional soccer," said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “We look forward to working with these players as they continue to develop. While we will continue to evaluate our roster, we look forward to starting the season with this group.”
All three MLS SuperDraft choices featured in Crew SC's 2015 preseason friendlies, with Campbell seeing action in three matches, Lev-Ari making three appearances and Ryden playing in five contests. Lev-Ari found the back of the net for his first MLS preseason goal on February 18 as part of a 7-0 win over London United at the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic.
QUOTE SHEET: Campbell, Lev-Ari and Ryden on joining the club
Campbell was originally selected with the 19th overall choice in the First Round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. 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, he 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 the school's 64 matches over that span, earning American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2014.
Lev-Ari was selected in the Second Round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, at 35th overall. In three seasons at California State Northridge, the forward totaled 42 goals in 64 appearances (60 starts). He 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.
Ryden made 28 appearances (27 starts) over two seasons at Midwestern State, helping the Mustangs keep a clean sheet in 13 of his starts. The defender helped the school to consecutive NCAA Division II postseason appearances, earning NSCAA All-South Central Region First Team honors in 2014. Previously, he spent two seasons at Oral Roberts University.
The Black & Gold begin their 20th season on March 7 at Houston and return home on Saturday, March 14 against Toronto FC at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The entirety of the Black & Gold's active roster as of March 2 is below:
Goalkeepers (3): Steve Clark, Matt Lampson, Brad Stuver
Defenders (9): Chad Barson, Sergio Campbell, Waylon Francis, Hernan Grana, Chris Klute, Michael Parkhurst, Emanuel Pogatetz, Kalen Ryden, Tyson Wahl
Midfielders (12): Ethan Finlay, Romain Gall, Kevan George, Federico Higuain, Hector Jimenez, Justin Meram, Mohammed Saeid, Ben Speas, Kristinn Steindorsson, Ben Swanson, Tony Tchani, Wil Trapp
Forwards (4): Adam Bedell, Kei Kamara, Sagi Lev-Ari, Aaron Schoenfeld
**Note: midfielder Cedrick Mabwati is set to join Crew SC in the summer and will occupy an international roster spot upon his arrival
TRANSACTIONS: Columbus Crew SC signs 2015 MLS SuperDraft selections Sergio Campbell, Sagi Lev-Ari and Kalen Ryden on March 2, 2015.
Name: Sergio Campbell
Born: January 16, 1992 in Clarendon, Jamaica
Hometown: Clarendon, Jamaica
Acquired: Selected in the First Round (19th overall) in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft on January 15, 2015, signed by Crew SC on March 2, 2015
Previous Experience: University of Central Arkansas (2011), University of Connecticut (2012-2014)
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, signed by Crew SC on March 2, 2015
Previous Experience: California State University – Northridge (2012-2014), Monroe College (2011)
Name: Kalen Ryden
Born: April 12, 1991 in Norman, Oklahoma
Hometown: Norman, Oklahoma
Acquired: Selected in the Fourth Round (69 overall) in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft on January 20, 2015, signed by Crew SC on March 2, 2015
Previous Experience: Midwestern State (2013-2014), Oral Roberts (2009-2010)