With the seventh pick in the 2020 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, Columbus Crew SC selected San Diego’s Miguel Berry. Originally a native of Barcelona, Spain, the forward is coming off of a stellar senior campaign for the Toreros. But who exactly is the newest addition chosen by Caleb Porter, Tim Bezbatchenko and company?
Hailing from Poway, California, Berry played primarily as a center forward during his four-year tenure at the university. At 6-foot-3, 180 punds, Berry is an imposing player that can score with both his left foot and right foot.
Berry had an acclaimed career at San Diego, especially in 2019. He was a 2019 NCAA All-American, a 2019 West Coast Conference Co-Player of the Year and a 2019 finalist for the MAC Hermann Award, college soccer’s version of the Heisman Trophy which recognizes the best player nationally in the NCAA. Berry led the nation in total points at 42 and was a co-leader for most goals scored in the country.
Off the field, Berry was an exceptional talent in the classroom as well. During his senior season, he finished as a 2019 Scholar All-American (First Team) which was voted by United Soccer Coaches. To be nominated, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average throughout his or her career, start more than 50 percent of all games and be a significant contributor to the team.
Aside from the many accolades that Berry accumulated during his collegiate career, his playmaking ability was on full display during his senior season. It was capped with 17 goals and eight assists. Adding a shot-on-goal percentage of 50 percent, Berry’s efficiency was clear to the Black & Gold hierarchy while making the selection.
Assuming he can make it into the first team, Berry will give Porter much-needed depth at the forward position. Gyasi Zardes is the entrenched starter up top for Columbus, but the backup job is up for grabs. Last year’s first-round selection JJ Williams returns for Columbus, as well as former Toronto FC forward Jordan Hamilton who the Crew acquired midseason last year.
According to Soccer By Ives’ Ives Galarcep, Berry has already signed a deal with a United Soccer League Championship side, which could mean Berry does not play for the Crew this season. Last year, the Black & Gold selected Rafael Mentzingen, who had already signed with a USL team, during the SuperDraft and he remained in the lower league during the 2019 season. Mentzingen trained with Columbus following the year.
Update: Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said Berry has not yet signed his USL contract and the Black & Gold hope to have the forward in preseason camp.
It will be interesting to see Berry’s situation play out with this potential suitor he has with an unnamed USL side. In the meantime, he is the newest draftee of the Black & Gold and can very well be a good young addition to a side seeking depth in a crucial role.