Columbus Crew SC decided to add depth to its midfield in the second half of the 2019 Major League Soccer SuperDraft on Monday as the club used its third-round pick (60th overall) to select Justin Donawa from Dartmouth University and one of its fourth-round selections (90th overall) to acquire Rafael Mentzingen out of Valparaiso. The Black & Gold opted to pass on their final pick, the 91st overall selection.
A Bermuda-native, the 22-year-old Donawa played in 52 matches in four seasons for Dartmouth, scoring 10 goals. In 2018, he scored twice in just six games. During his college career, he collected a number of accolades, including a first team All-Ivy League Selection in 2017 and All-Ivy League Honorable Mentions in 2015 and 2016.
Donawa, who was also a track and field athlete during his college time, specializing in triple jump, in which he won the Ivy League Championship in 2018, is a member of the Bermuda National Team, for which he has played in 10 matches since 2015. He scored two goals for his home country, both in a 5-0 victory over Bahamas during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, back in 2015.
In Mentzingen, the Black & Gold also get an international player as the 22-year-old native is Brazilian. The player, nicknamed Rafa, scored 11 goals in 34 games for Valparaiso, where he transferred to in 2017. Between 2015 and 2016, the Brazilian played for Bryan College and scored 11 goals.
His college awards include a NAIA All-American selection in 2015 and United Soccer Coaches All-West Region Second-Team, first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference and the MVC All-Tournament Team appearances, all in 2017.
He got notoriety in 2017, when he scored a very beautiful goal against Drake after dribbling past four opponents.
The Brazilian has also played for some teams outside of college, including playing for Lansing United in 2017 and Detroit City FC in 2018. His current situation is unclear, as Mentzingen recently signed a contract with USL League One side Lansing Ignite for the 2019 season.
With these selections, the Crew ends the SuperDraft with three new additions to the roster as the club picked University of Kentucky’s forward JJ Williams with the 18th pick during the first round, on Friday. The Black & Gold had no second-round selection.