In yesterday's MLS SuperDraft, Columbus Crew SC traded down to the 19th overall pick, but there was a little confusion what Crew SC gave up - aside from their 14th overall pick - and what they received in return.
The confusion was cleared up today when the club announced the full details of the trade. The Colorado Rapids sent their first-round selection to Columbus along with defender Chris Klute in exchange for Crew SC's first-round pick and an undisclosed amount of allocation money.
Klute comes to Columbus with a fairly impressive résumé. In his three seasons with the Rapids, he made 57 appearances (55 starts) and led the team in assists in 2013. He was also named the team's Defender of the Year that season and was called up to last year's U.S. Men's National Team January camp.
"We identified him as a player that can fit well into our system of play," Crew SC sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter told TheCrew.com. "He's a very dynamic fullback that likes to get into the attack and his versatility makes him an option on either side of the field."
The move came as a bit of a surprise as Columbus already has a starting left back in Waylon Francis. Berhalter believes that at that position, you need to have talented depth.
"It's no secret that our fullbacks have an extremely high workload," he explained. "If you look at last year, we played a number of people at both left and right back. So we need enough bodies there in those positions."
Berhalter also said Klute is comfortable playing on either side of the field and will be considered for both positions. The Black and Gold are currently thin at right back after losing Josh Williams and Eric Gehrig so Klute could fill a need at that role, something the defender isn't averse to doing.
"It honestly doesn't really matter on which side," Klute said moments after the trade was announced. "I want to win games and if they feel like playing me on the left side or the right side to help the team do that then I could really care less."
Despite being officially announced a day later, this trade will go down as a draft-day move. Berhalter explained that while it's not always easy to acquire a player via trade during the draft, it was something they were looking to get done.
"We had to be flexible," Berhalter said. "We had to be able to move quickly during and it was something where we had our eye on Chris for a while and as our picks were taken, we weighed the risk of losing our third pick and it made sense to do the deal with Colorado since they wanted to move [up] and get their first choice."
After selecting UConn defender Sergio Campbell with the 19th pick and California State University, Northridge forward Sagi Lev-Ari with the 14th pick in the second round, Berhalter believes the draft, including this trade, was a success.
"We're extremely happy with how we came out of this draft," he said. "We think all three players have a lot of potential and we're excited to be working with them. We think they're going to fit into the team well and give us that extra depth in some spots and some minutes in others. We're happy with that."