Gregg Berhalter will take part in his fourth SuperDraft on Friday as the Sporting Director and Head Coach of Columbus Crew SC. His record in uncovering talent has been decidedly mixed. The team has failed to make an impact selection in Berhalter's three years, a pattern that will need to change if the team will make use of the two high draft picks in this year's draft.
This is a look back just at Berhalter's picks. This won't analyze any trades such as what was essentially Axel Sjöberg and allocation money for Chris Klute and Sergio Campbell in 2015, though some of those moves haven't paid off as well. This will be an assessment of the 13 players that the team has made since Berhalter took over in late 2013. We are counting regular season and playoff appearances
Crew SC had three picks in 2014, starting with the 14th overall in the first round. All three picks would make the team out of preseason and two would make senior team appearances. Adam Bedell can plausibly claim to be the best draft pick under Gregg Berhalter. He is the leader in appearances and goals.
14th Pick -Ben Sweat: The right back from South Florida would last a season and fail to make a senior team appearance before being let go at the end of the season. He would land in Tampa Bay with the Rowdies.
42nd Pick - Fifi Baiden: The diminutive central midfielder from Ghana by way of UC Santa Barbara also lasted a season with Crew SC. He would make a single appearance before his tenure was cut short by injury.
45th Pick - Adam Bedell: The sleeper pick had the build of a forward, but the foot skills of a converted midfielder (which he was). A discovery in the team's fall college combine, Bedell would total 16 appearances and two goals before being traded to Orlando City in August 2015.
After a solid 2014 and a trade with Seattle, the team picked first late in the first round and had four other picks throughout the draft. Sergio Campbell would be the first name the team took. He'd make one appearance and last the season. That is more that can be said of any of the other four picks. Only one other, Kalen Ryden, would make the team and he'd fail to make an appearance before being waived. This has proven to be Berhalter's worst draft.
19th Pick - Sergio Campbell: The powerfully built central defender was asked to provide depth and was woefully exposed in his only senior appearance. He was released at the end of the season, a victim of a roster crunch on international spots. He made 26 appearances for Pittsburgh in USL in 2016.
35th Pick - Sagi Lev-Ari: The forward was supposed to be cut in preseason, but picked up an injury so he remained technically on the roster. He was eventually waived in August of 2015.
55th Pick - Robert Kristo : This pick was a gamble as the forward had made it known he was going to head overseas. Kristo never trained with Crew SC as played in Serie B before finding his way to the lower tiers of German league soccer.
60th Pick - Tomas Gomez: The goalkeeper never made Crew SC camp. He'd sign for San Jose, but then headed to USL for 2016.
69th Pick - Kalen Ryden: The defender signed with Crew SC, but did not make an appearance and was sent on loan to Austin before being waived. He later returned to USL.
Again after a playoff season, Crew SC didn't have a high draft pick to work with. Berhalter and staff were able turn the 19th pick into squad depth with the pick of Rodrigo Saravia. He was able to step in an play when the team was beset by injuries. Only one other player made the team in Marshall Hollingsworth. The 2016 draft class marks the first time multiple players were retained after their rookie season.
19th Pick - Rodrigo Saravia: The Guatemalan midfielder made his MAPFRE debut with his National Team before playing for Crew SC. He'd make 10 appearances in central midfield and is still with the team.
21st Pick - Chase Minter: The Cal Poly midfielder never made it past the first days of preseason.
31st Pick - Kyle Parker: The Charlotte University forward quickly left camp and went to Wilmington for the 2016 season. He did appear in a NYCFC friendly against Necaxa last October.
41st Pick - Marshall Hollingsworth: Another surprise pick as the Division-III midfielder lasted through camp and landed a roster spot. He didn't make an appearance for the senior team, but he has made 24 appearances for Pittsburgh on loan and is returning for the 2017 season.
60th Pick - Vince Cicciarelli: The forward failed to impress initially in training camp and was quickly let go.
There is no other way to grade Gregg Berhalter's drafts as anything but poor. There may have been some questionable choices, but it also reflects the poor depth of recent drafts. There hasn't been much MLS ready talent past the first 10-15 picks. With Crew SC picking in the lower rounds, the team didn't have a chance to pick a quality player. They had to take more risks, but they've still missed on players like Thomas McNamara (taken by Chivas, 20th in 2014), Chris Duvall (NYRB, 22nd in 2014), or Daniel Lovits (Toronto FC, 24th in 2014).
With far more talent available in the top 10, Crew SC has to be looking to add an impact player in the 2017 draft.