Former Cal Poly men’s soccer standout Chase Minter will get the chance to continue his playing career at the professional level next season.
The Columbus Crew selected the two-time Big West Conference Midfielder of the Year with the 21st overall pick during Thursday’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft. After being chosen with the first pick of the second round at the Baltimore Convention Center, Minter became the highest Mustang drafted in program history.
He followed in the footsteps of former Cal Poly standouts Junior Burgos (No. 44, Toronto FC) in 2011, Wes Feighner (No. 72, Seattle Sounders FC) in 2012 and George Malki (No. 37, Montreal Impact) and Mackenzie Pridham (No. 58, Vancouver Whitecaps FC) in 2014.
As the first player chosen from the Big West, Minter joins a Columbus team that won 15 games last season and reached the MLS Cup, eventually falling to the Portland Timbers. Earlier this month, the Crew signed head coach Gregg Berhalter to a multi-year extension after he led the club to its second Eastern Conference Championship and a 53-point regular season.
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During his senior year, Minter helped Cal Poly earn a second-place finish in the North Division of the Big West standings and secure a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years.
A native of Heath, Texas, Minter completed his career as the Mustangs’ all-time leader in assists (21), and ranked second in appearances (77), fifth in points (53) and seventh in goals (16). He started in all 59 of Cal Poly’s games over the last three seasons.
Columbus also acquired three other players during the first two rounds of Thursday’s draft. Florida Gulf Coast midfielder Rodrigo Saravia went 19th overall, followed by Minter, UNC-Charlotte forward Kyle Parker (No. 31) and Wheaton forward Marshall Hollingsworth (No. 41).
The Crew have played their home matches at the nearly 20,000-seat MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, for the past 17 seasons. They begin the 2016 campaign on the road against the Portland Timbers in a rematch of the 2015 MLS Cup. That game will be played March 6 and broadcast on ESPN.
Columbus’ first home game is scheduled for March 12 against the Philadelphia Union.