Adam Jardy blogged that the long rumored signing of Akron defender Chad Barson to a Home Grown contract will be announced tomorrow. Several twitter posts broke the news before the end of the year, but the deal likely required league approval which was slowed by the holiday season. The senior had withdrawn from the upcoming MLS Combine, sending a strong signal that the Crew were looking to lock him up.
Barson has been seen as a late first round pick on some of the recent draft boards and is the most pro ready of the Crew's HGP prospects. He may not have the prototiypical size that coaches look for at 5'10" and 170, but he's very skilled on the ball and a smart defender. He's reads the game well and has been a four year starter for a dominant Akron team. He's expected to step in and provide depth at center back
Jardy also revealed that fellow Home Grown target Matt Wiet will be staying in school to finish his degree and will play for the Ventura County Fusion. Weit, a defender, was a starter for UCLA the past three years since transfering from Indiana after his freshman year.
Barson will be the fifth Crew player signed to a Home Grown Player contract, joining Aaron Horton, Matt Lampson, Ben Speas, and Wil Trapp. The Barson signing brings the Crew defense to six players, but all of them are natural center back.