COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC today selected two players in the Third and Fourth Rounds of the 2019 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, held this afternoon via conference call. The Black & Gold selected Dartmouth College midfielder Justin Donawa with the 18th pick in the Third Round (66th overall) and Valparaiso University midfielder Rafael Mentzingen with the 18th pick in the Fourth Round (90th overall) before passing on the 91st overall selection.
Donawa is set to join the Crew’s 2019 preseason roster as un-signed MLS SuperDraft selection. Crew SC’s Fourth Round selection of Mentzingen secured his MLS rights, with the midfielder under contract in 2019 with United Soccer League One side Lansing Ignite.
Justin Donawa, 22, played four seasons at Dartmouth College, making 48 appearances (33 starts), scoring nine goals and providing 16 assists. During his time with the Dartmouth Big Green, Donawa was named to the 2017 First Team All-Ivy League and earned two honorable mentions (2015, 2016). At the international level, Donawa has earned 10 caps and scored two goals with the Bermuda National Team. The midfielder made his debut for Bermuda as a starter in a friendly against Grenada on March 6, 2015 at the Bermuda National Stadium in Hamilton, Bermuda. On March 26, 2015, Donawa scored two goals in Bermuda’s 5-0 road victory over Bahamas in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas.
Rafael Mentzingen played at Valparaiso University from 2017-2018, making 34 appearances (32 starts) while tallying 11 goals and three assists. During his time with Valpo, the 22-year-old was twice named to the United Soccer Coaches All-West Region Second Team (2017, 2018), twice named to the 2017 First-Team All-Missouri Valley Conference and once named to the MVC All-Tournament Team (2017). Before joining Valparaiso University, Mentzingen played at Bryan College from 2015-2016, where he earned the Appalachian Athletic Conference Golden Boot Award and Freshman of the Year Award in 2015. He was also named to the All-American Second Team (2016), the All-East Region First Team on two occasions (2015, 2016) and the AAC First-Team All-Conference twice (2015, 2016).
Crew SC’s 2019 MLS preseason training begins on Wednesday, January 23 in Central Ohio after entrance physicals and testing. From there, the club departs to Chula Vista, California for its preseason camp. The Black & Gold are slated to remain in California through February 6 before returning to Columbus. The team will be in Central Ohio from February 7-12 before traveling to Charleston, South Carolina to participate in the 2019 Carolina Challenge Cup.
The Black & Gold begin the 2019 regular season at home and will face the defending Supporters’ Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls, at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 2 at MAPFRE Stadium. 2019 Season Ticket Memberships are now on sale with additional information available via ColumbusCrewSC.com.
TRANSACTIONS: Crew SC selects Dartmouth College midfielder Justin Donawa in the Third Round (66th overall) and Valparaiso University midfielder Rafael Mentzingen in the Fourth Round (90th overall) of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft on January 14, 2019. Donawa is set to join the Crew’s 2019 preseason roster as un-signed MLS SuperDraft selection. Crew SC’s Fourth Round selection of Mentzingen secured his MLS rights, with the midfielder under contract in 2019 with United Soccer League One side Lansing Ignite.