On Wednesday the Columbus Crew signed third round draft pick Adam Bedell.
"It's very exciting," Bedell said about signing his first professional contract. "I've been waiting for this moment for a long time and I couldn't be more excited to be with this great organization."
The forward scored 23 goals and registered 22 assists in his four years at University Detroit Mercy. Despite being a small school, Bedell says the Titans have a rich soccer history.
"There have been some great players come out of U of D," he said.
"It's a smaller school so maybe people haven't heard of it, but back in the 90's, I know there were some very quality players to come through there."
In January, Bedell became the first player drafted in to MLS and now he is the first to sign a pro deal.
"I heard that I was the first drafted in MLS ever which is pretty cool, it's definitely an accomplishment," he said.
"I'm glad to say I was the first so that's pretty cool."
Bedell was a member of the Crew Soccer Academy Wolves program in Michigan and participated in the Crew's College Combine in December where he made his mark with the staff.
"After the combine, I spoke with Gregg and we had a nice conversation and from there on, you play the waiting game," he said.
Patience paid off as Columbus selected him with the 4th overall pick.
Head coach Gregg Berhalter said that Bedell is a strong addition to the team and impressed in the preseason. He believes he will add depth to the attacking unit, but could also provide the Black and Gold with something they haven't had up top in a while.
"My size," Bedell said about his biggest strength. "I think when you first look at me, that's what you see. At 6'7", 6'8", you've got to be a presence in the box."
Listed at 6'7", Bedell is the tallest player on the Crew's roster. His height could be useful both on set pieces and in the run of play. Berhalter wants his outside backs involved in the attack, which means crosses should make their way into the penalty box.
Bedell doesn't want to be labeled as a target forward; he believes he brings more than that to the table.
"My feet are great, I have good feet and I think I've shown them that," he said of impressing the coaching staff in preseason. "My finishing ability in the box, [that] can always get better but I think that's a strong point in my game and I think I've shown that so far."
Columbus' roster now stands at 30 with defender Matt Wiet on the disabled listed. Because of roster limitations, signing Bedell meant parting ways with another trail player.
"We released Patrick [Slogic]," Berhalter said. "He did a great job with our team. Because of the depth we had at the position [center back], we felt like we weren't going to be able to add him to the roster.
"We had one spot left and that was the decision we had to make."
Slogic moves on as Bedell prepares for his first opportunity to step on an MLS field. The big man hopes he can contain his excitement.
"My first game, it will be everything I've waited for to be a pro soccer player," he said. "It will be exciting. A rush of emotion I'm sure, but hopefully I'll keep the emotions in check and work hard and show what I can."