The Columbus Crew had two wait almost an hour and a half, through multiple trades and timeouts, but they finally made their pick in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft.
With their 14th pick, the Crew selected defender Ben Sweat out of the University of South Florida.
Sweat is a left back who likes to attack down the flank. He is the all-time appearance leader for the Bulls - 78 appearances - after playing in nearly every game in his four-year career, registering three goals and eight assists.
Sweat was known for his ability on the ball out of the back, someone that is able to take on the opposition and make a mark going forward.
At 6'2", Sweat will be one of the taller players on Columbus' roster despite playing a position that doesn't usually provide much height. This can be dangerous on set pieces, as well as helping the Crew win long balls on the outside.
Left back is a tough position to fill and the Black and Gold now have depth at the spot. Earlier this offseason, the Crew signed Waylon Francis, who is expected to be the starter. The roster also features Tyson Wahl and Agustin Viana, who both have featured at left back at times.
Sweat may not be a contributor immediately, but his attacking style seems to fit what head coach Gregg Berhalter is looking for.
The connections between the Crew and Sweat do not start with this draft pick. While Berhalter was coaching Hammarby IF in Sweeden, Sweat trained with fellow Swedish club Djurgarden in the summer of 2012. Sweat was also a member of the U-20 Crew Juniors team in 2011.
Columbus initially had the fourth-overall pick in the draft, but traded it to the New England Revolution along with allocation money for the rights to Michael Parkhurst. Crew owner Anthony Precourt tweeted that this was the player the staff wanted no matter the pick.
Gregg got his man. Welcome to the Crew Ben Sweat! Likely would have taken him at 4th overall, a win for us. #crew96— Anthony Precourt (@APrecourt) January 16, 2014