Columbus Crew SuperDraft Preview: New era begins with a hole on the flank

Ahead of the 2014 SuperDraft, is breaking down each team's needs and potential draft targets. Here's a look at where the Columbus Crew need help:

Gregg Berhalter arrives in Ohio to start the first truly new era in a long, long time. Sigi Schmid, and then Robert Warzycha had guided the Crew since 2005, with a few months of Brian Bliss at the end.

What's it mean? Tough to say -- though it's impossible not to like his first big move, acquiring US international defender Michael Parkhurst for the No. 4 pick.

Columbus Crew SuperDraft Picks: #14 (1st Rd), #42 (3rd Rd)

Columbus Crew Depth Chart: 28 players

Goalkeepers (4): Steve Clark, Matt Lampson, Brad Stuver, Daniel Withrow

Right Backs (2): Chad Barson, Ross Friedman

Left Backs (3): Tyson Wahl, Waylon Francis, Augustin Viana

Center Backs (4): Michael Parkhurst, Josh Williams, Eric Gehrig, Matt Wiet

Center Mids (5): Wil Trapp, Daniel Paladini, Tony Tchani, Kevan George, Shawn Sloan

Left Mids (2): Ben Speas, Bernardo Anor

Right Mids (2): Dominic Oduro, Ethan Finlay

Attacking Mids (2): Federico Higuain, Matt Walker

Forwards (4): Jairo Arrieta, Aaron Schoenfeld, Justin Meram, Ryan Finley

International slots (6 of 8 remaining): Anor, Arrieta

Crew's Primary Need: Wide midfield

You know that Higuain is going to be the playmaker, and that Oduro will likely start wide on the right. You think that Trapp will start deep in central midfield next to Paladini or Tchani. But who takes the other spot up for grabs? There are some holdovers in contention now that Eddie Gaven's retired, but picking up another winger with skill should be a priority on Thursday..

Targets: Andre Lewis (Jamaica U-20s), Ryan Neil (California), Thomas McNamara (Clemson)

Secondary Need: Central defensive depth

Turning the No. 4 pick into Michael Parkhurst was a clear victory, because nobody in the draft is going to walk into MLS and be as good as him. Finding another true central defender – in particular one who’s dominant in the air – to play there in the future is another “must” for this team, maybe as early as the second round.

Targets: Grant Van de Casteele (Notre Dame), Kevin Cope (Michigan State), Nick Hagglund (Xavier), Jimmy Ockford (Louisville)


SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: Can Quakes find a player at No. 9 who can start right away?

FC DALLAS: Will Oscar Pareja make a run at NCAA top scorer?

LA GALAXY: Bruce Arena merely putting finishing touches on 2014 squad

REAL SALT LAKE: Jeff Cassar's first big decisions come in SuperDraft

COLORADO RAPIDS: Five picks in Philly, but no head coach to make them

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS: Generation adidas players are 1st-round targets

PORTLAND TIMBERS: More players on their way from Akron?

CHIVAS USA: In search of another rebuild for the Goats

TORONTO FC: Are the Reds about to become a SuperClub?

MONTREAL IMPACT: Finding depth up top is Klopas' first priority

CHICAGO FIRE: How does big trade impact Fire's draft strategy?

SPORTING KC: Champs have few needs entering SuperDraft

HOUSTON DYNAMO: Kinnear needs help in the back and up top

PHILADELPHIA UNION: Can Hackworth make the most of his 8 picks?


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