The SuperDraft serves as a chance for clubs to acquire talent from college ranks and MLS NEXT Pro. The Black & Gold, eager to infuse their team with promising young prospects, aim to foster development within the club's environment.
The Columbus Crew has a track record of successfully advancing players through the club's MLS NEXT Pro team before integrating them into the first team. Recent examples include goalkeeper Patrick Schulte, wing back Mohamed Farsi, and midfielder Sean Zawadzki, showcasing the effectiveness of this development pathway for young talents. Not only will there be pathways to the first team, but potentially to the national team.
Jayden Da - Forward
With the 29th pick in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft, the Columbus Crew selected Jayden Da from Duquesne University. Da, a 6-foot-4 striker, recently completed his junior season at Duquesne, showcasing his prowess with eight goals and four assists. Despite his imposing physique, Da is an industrious runner with a strong work rate. The Crew looks forward to nurturing Da's development in both technical and tactical aspects as he transitions to the professional game. Given the success of their reserve team in developing strikers like Jacen Russell-Rowe, fans have reason to be excited about Da's potential impact in MLS NEXT Pro with Crew 2.
Zach Zengue - Midfielder
The Crew's second-round pick in the 2024 SuperDraft is Zach Zengue from the University of Georgetown. Zengue, a midfielder and Shattuck St. Mary’s Academy product, completed his sophomore season with the Hoyas, tallying five goals and seven assists in 19 matches. This selection continues the club's trend of bringing in Georgetown players, joining the ranks of former Georgetown Zawadski and left back Will Sands on the first-team roster. With Open Cup, Leagues Cup and the CONCACAF Champions Cup all up for grabs, it is very much important to have players ready and with the promotion program from Crew 2 to the senior team, anything is possible.
Luke Pruter - Goalkeeper
In the third round of the 2024 MLS SuperDraft, the Black & Gold secured Luke Pruter, a towering 6-foot-5 goalkeeper from UC Irvine. Pruter, a junior, brings recent success from an NCAA tournament appearance and a Big West Conference Championship with UC Irvine. With 12 shutouts in 45 matches during his three-year tenure with the Anteaters, Pruter's shot-stopping ability and adeptness with his feet align well with the Crew's playing style under head coach Wilfried Nancy. Goalkeeper positions hold value in the MLS SuperDraft, and the Black & Gold have experienced notable success in this regard, exemplified by the trajectory of goalkeeper Patrick Schulte, who played a pivotal role in guiding the Crew to the 2023 MLS Cup championship after joining Crew 2. The club aspires for a similar pathway with Pruter's integration into the organization.
While achieving overnight success is improbable, the journey to success is an ongoing process. The assurance lies in the fact that these players, Jayden Da, Zach Zengue, and Luke Pruter, will be under the guidance of experienced hands in Columbus. The club's commitment to their development suggests a deliberate and steady approach towards fostering their growth within the team.