Columbus Crew SC is sending rookie forward Miguel Berry on loan to United Soccer League Championship side San Diego Loyal SC the club announced on Friday morning. The Crew will retain the right to call Berry back from the loan at any point.
“Miguel is a young forward who is competing for time on the field and needs to consistently play matches in order to continue his development,” Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “By going on loan to San Diego Loyal SC, Miguel will be able to get the valuable minutes that he needs at this stage of his career.”
Berry was the Black & Gold’s first-round pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, seventh overall, from the University of San Diego and signed with the team in early February. Berry took part in preseason training with the Crew but is yet to make an appearance this year despite being on the bench each of the last two matches since MLS’s Phase 1 of the restart.
In four seasons at San Diego, Berry made 72 appearances, 69 starts, scoring 38 goals and registering 16 assists. As a freshman, Berry made 18 appearances for the Toreros and had eight goals and one assist. He was named to the West Coast Conference All-Freshman team. During his sophomore year, Berry started all 17 games in which he played, managing five goals and five assists. For his efforts, he was named to the All-WCC first team and to the United Soccer Coaches All-Far West Region second team. Berry played in 19 games as a junior, all starts, registering eight goals and two assists. Following the season, Berry was named to the All-WCC first team and received USC All-Far West Region second-team honors.
Berry’s final season with San Diego saw him appear and start 18 times, tying for second on the team with 17 goals scored while also providing eight assists. He was named WCC Co-Player of the Year and he was a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann National Player of the Year award as well as being named to the USC All-America second team, the All-WCC first team, the USC Scholar All-American first team, the USC All-West Region first team, and the College Sports Information Directors of America All-American third team.
With Berry going out on loan, the Crew has three forwards remaining on the roster in Gyasi Zardes, Fanendo Adi and Jordan Hamilton. Zardes has started all seven of the Black & Gold’s regular season games this year, while Adi has made five appearances off the bench and Hamilton is yet to see the field after four appearances in his debut season with Columbus last year.
Berry will join Crew goalkeeper Jon Kempin in San Diego. Kempin was loaned to the Loyal in early March and has been with the club since.