Columbus Crew SC today announced that the club has signed Argentine defender Gaston Sauro (GAS-tone sOW-roh) as a Discovery Signing. Sauro, 25, spent the 2014-15 season playing for Italian Serie B side Calcio Catania while on loan from Switzerland's FC Basel, where he played for two full seasons from 2012-14. Targeted Allocation Money was used to acquire the player and per club and MLS policy, additional details of the deal were not disclosed. Sauro will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
Across all competitions, the 25-year-old defender has made 110 lifetime professional appearances, scoring four goals and adding one assist. He has been involved in helping his teams keep a combined 34 clean sheets, including 26 shutouts over his two seasons for FC Basel in Switzerland. A disciplined centerback, he has averaged just three yellow cards per season over his seven professional campaigns. Ahead of his move to Europe in 2012, Sauro played four seasons in his native Argentina playing for First Division side Boca Juniors. Standing at 6-foot-3, Sauro is a two-time winner of the Swiss Super League and also captured the Argentine Primera Division Apertura in 2011-12. He brings experience in the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Champions League qualification and the UEFA Europa League to Columbus.
“Gaston Sauro has an interesting profile with the amount of experience he has at such a young age. We’ve watched him at FC Basel, and knowing that they play a very similar system to ours, we feel that the transition will be less difficult,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “Gaston is an aggressive defender, yet technically sound, and he is able to play out of the back. We think the combination of size and his technical ability will be a good fit into the way we play.”
Sauro joins Crew SC after spending the 2014-15 season on-loan with Calcio Catania in Italy's Serie B, where he made 27 appearances (21 starts), scoring one goal, on October 28, 2014 against Virtus Entella. Prior to joining Catania, he played two campaigns for Swiss giant FC Basel after joining the club ahead of the 2012-13 season. He made 16 Swiss Super League appearances in that year, his debut season with the club, scoring one goal and adding one assist as Basel finished the season as champions. He also made four 2012-13 UEFA Europa League appearances, including a start in the second leg of the Semifinal against Chelsea, as well as six UEFA Champions League qualification appearances.
During his second season with FC Basel, in 2013-14, Sauro helped Basel emerge from qualification to make the Group Stage of the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League, where he made a substitute appearance against Chelsea in Group E. He made six appearances in the 2013-14 UEFA Europa League (all starts), as well as 18 Swiss Super League appearances, helping Basel to another title.
Before heading to Switzerland, Sauro spent four years at Boca Juniors in his native Argentina, where he made a total of 16 appearances. He made his professional debut with the club on April 12, 2009 with a start against Estudiantes in the 2008-09 Torneo Clausura. In 2011-12, his final season with Boca Juniors, he was a part of the squad that won that season's Apertura.
Crew SC next plays on Saturday, August 8 when it visits the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado (9:00 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, CD102.5 FM, 103.1 FM La Mega).
TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew SC signs defender Gaston Sauro as a Discovery Signing on August 6, 2015. Targeted Allocation Money was used to acquire the player. He will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.