The Columbus Crew hasn’t made many additions to its roster so far this offseason heading into the 2022 Major League Soccer season. On Tuesday, however, the Black & Gold had the opportunity to add multiple players in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft.
With the Crew’s first pick, No. 12 overrall, the team selected goalkeeper Patrick Schulte — 6-foot-5, 200 pounds — out of Saint Louis University, the first goalkeeper taken in the draft. This picks comes just one day after the club announced the re-signing of veteran backup goalkeeper Evan Bush.
Schulte is a native of St. Charles, Missouri and attended Francis Howell High School prior to playing for the Billikens and played for Saint Louis FC U-19 Academy. He played three seasons of collegiate soccer at Saint Louis University, starting all three years. Schulte was the third Billiken taken in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft, from a team that went 16-4-1 in 2021, winning the Atlantic 10 championship and advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
An enticing prospect, Shulte was a starter early in his freshman season. The goalkeeper started 16 of 17 games, only missing out on the second conntest of the year. Shulte recorded a 10-6 overall record in goal and a 1.05 goals against average in his first season of college soccer. As part of the Saint Louis backline, Schulte managed eight shutouts, including holding the opponent scoreless in each of his first five Atlantic 10 matches.
That year, the Billikens finished fourth in the conference and lost to Fordham 1-0 in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament, a game in which the goalkeeper made a penalty kick save. Schulte was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week once and was an Atlantic 10 Conference All-Rookie team selection.
In the COVID-altered 2020-21 season, which was played in the spring of 2021, Schulte started all 14 games for the 9-4 Billikens. Schulte led the Atlantic 10 with five clean sheets and managed a 0.63 goals against average, which was 17th best in the nation. He ranked third in the conference and 33rd in the country with a .800 save percentage.
Saint Louis University again met Fordham in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament, once again falling, this time 2-1. After the season, Schulte was named the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year and received first-team All-Conference honors after being awarrded two Defensive Player of the Week honors during the year and registering his first career assist.
Returning in the fall of 2021, Schulte and the Billikens had their best campaign during his time at Saint Louis. The team finished the regular season with a 12-0-3 record and went 8-0 in Atlantic 10 play, the best record in the conference. The Billikens won the A-10 tournament championship, defeating Duquesne 2-1 in the final prior to the NCAA Tournament run that ended after three games in a 2-0 loss to No. 2 seed Washington.
Schulte certainly played his part in Saint Louis’ success in 2021. The goalkeeper started all 21 games and led the Atlantic 10 with nine shutouts and a 0.81 goals against average, which was 16th best in the nation.
Following the season, Schulte was named All-Atlantic 10 first-team for the second time in his career, missing out on back-to-back Atlantic 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors to his teammate Kipp Keller, who went No. 5 overall in the SuperDraft to Austin FC. Additionally, Schulte was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Region second-team and was the Most Outstanding Player of the A-10 Championship.
In his three seasons playing for Saint Louis, Schulte ranked 14th among all active NCAA Division I goalkeepers in career shutouts (22) and career goals against average (0.84).
Given the presence of starter Eloy Room and Bush, Schulte is likely to be the Crew’s third-string goalkeeper as a rookie, potentially competing with 22-year-old Brady Scott who the Black & Gold selected in the Re-Entry Draft last month. The two also are candidates to see time with the newly formed Crew 2 as part of the inaugural season of MLS Next Pro.