COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Columbus Crew went with familiarity when selecting University of North Carolina midfielder Kirk Urso as the first of four players picked in Tuesday’s Supplemental Draft.
Urso (pictured above) was a teammate of recent Crew Home Grown Player signee Ben Speas in the fall when the Tar Heels won the College Cup, and both came through the US Soccer U-17 program when former Crew midfielder Brian Maisonneuve was an assistant there.
“Kirk was in the [College Cup] four years in college,” Crew coach Robert Warzycha told MLSsoccer.com. “He was well known. We’ve seen him many times. I don’t think he had the best Combine, but he is a very good player.”
Urso finished as UNC’s career leader in games, and had three goals and seven assists in 2011 to bring his four-year totals to 15 and 24, respectively.
The other draftees were University of Washington left back Jamie Finch, Liberty University forward Darren Amoo – the school’s career goal leader – and forward Andrew Bulls from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
None of the four is guaranteed a spot on the 30-man roster.
“It’s no secret were trying to build a team and build some depth,” Warzycha said. “It’s competition. That’s what we’re trying to create.”
The coach said the Crew went into the draft intent on selecting Finch and were surprised he was available. Finch helped the Huskies to nine shutouts in 2011 and was coached by former San Jose Earthquakes defender Jamie Clark.
Warzycha described Amoo (37 career goals, nine assists) as opportunistic.
“There’s nothing wrong with bringing in a guy who knows how to finish," he said. "Maybe he could develop into a very good player.”
The Crew head coach likes Bulls' (33 career goals, 30 assists) ability to score and set up teammates.
“He’s very good with the ball in the box,” Warzycha said.