COLUMBUS, Ohio— The Columbus Crew announced the signing of midfielder Sebastian Berhalter to a homegrown player contract Friday. Berhalter is the son of former Crew coach and current U.S. men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter.
“We are excited to welcome Sebastian to the Crew SC first team,” Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said. “As a longtime member of the Crew SC Academy, Sebastian is someone who understands the values and ideology of our Club. We are happy to see him join the professional ranks after a successful year at the college level and look forward to his continued development with the Crew.”
Berhalter was a freshman last year at the University of North Carolina, where he made 16 appearances. He spent the 2019 preseason with the Crew first team.
Berhalter joins Aidan Morris as the second homegrown signing Columbus has made this week.
This is the first offseason that the Crew have added multiple homegrown players to the roster since the 2014 preseason when they signed Ross Friedman, Matt Wiet, and Matt Walker. At the time, that gave Columbus an MLS high seven homegrown players.
Currently, the Crew have five homegrown players from their own academy on the roster- Morris, Berhalter, Wil Trapp, Matt Lampson, and Aboubacar Keita. Three other players (Gyasi Zardes, Jon Kempin, and Jordan Hamilton) were homegrown players for other MLS teams.