Former FGCU midfielder Rodrigo Saravia was drafted as the No. 19 overall pick to Columbus Crew SC on Thursday, Jan. 14.
“It was one of those moments I’ll always remember,” said FGCU head coach Bob Butehorn, who was with him in at the SuperDraft in Baltimore. “He was amazingly excited, we knew he was going to go first round but there weren’t a lot of people who knew so it was a very exciting time.”
The Atlantic Sun Player of the Year did well at the 2016 adidas MLS Combine in Fort Lauderdale last week, finishing in the top 10 in the agility (5-10-5) performance test.
Being drafted just before the end of the first round, Saravia will assist in Crew’s need for athleticism in the central midfield.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) January 14, 2016
Saravia, who is the first FGCU soccer player to be selected in the MLS SuperDraft, is in the company of players from top opponents in 2015.
“Columbus was a perfect fit,” Butehorn said. “They were in the top four in the league last year so it doesn’t get better than that.”
This year’s top three picks hail from opponents that FGCU faced in its non-conference season. No. 1 pick and Wake Forest midfielder Jack Harrison was later traded to New York FC, and the No. 2 and No. 3 picks, defenders Joshua Yaro and Keegan Rosenberry, hail from Georgetown.
Saravia is also in the company of A-Sun teammate Alex Morrell from North Florida who joined Saravia in the MLS Combine and was selected to Chicago Fire in the second round as the overall No. 22 pick.
This is the second FGCU player this year to be picked up by an MLS team. FGCU defender Aaron Guillen signed with FC Dallas as a Homegrown Player earlier this month.