Today was a busy day for the Columbus Crew. Along with the second preseason training session, the team announced the signing of 6’3″ Brazilian defender Gláuber Leandro Honorato Berti before selecting three more players in the Supplemental Draft.
Gláuber’s career has taken him from his native Brazil to the top leagues in Germany, England, and Romania. Gláuber, a natural left-footer, has been with Rapid Bucharest since 2010 but only made 46 appearances during that time. He was strangely cut from the team by email. Gláuber has one cap with the Brazilian national team from a friendly match against Guatemala in 2005.
However, Gláuber’s biggest claim to fame is his cult status with Manchester City fans. During the 2008-2009 season, his only one with the club, Gláuber consistently made the game-day roster but never made an appearance off the bench. In the last game of the season against Bolton Wanderers, Gláuber was brought on for the remaining few minutes to booming applause. This thread on a Manchester City fan site contains over 35 pages of outlandish facts about Gláuber. If his Wikipedia page is to be believed, some Manchester City fans still refer to their substitutes bench as the “Berti.”
The 29-year-old Gláuber is expected to start alongside Chad Marshall in the center of defense, pushing Josh Williams to right-back and Danny O’Rourke to defensive midfield. Tyson Wahl is the current projected starter at left-back.
The 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft was also held this afternoon for college-level players not picked in the SuperDraft. The Crew selected outside back Reed Matte in the first round with the 9th overall pick, goalie Daniel Withrow in the second round with the 28th overall pick, and attacking midfielder Shawn Sloan in the fourth round with the 66th overall pick.
Reed Matte is a speedy defender whose preferred position is right-back. He spent four years at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and was a member of the Portland Timbers U-23 team the past two summers. Matte gives the Crew added depth in both full-back positions. Here is a highlight video from his senior year:
Daniel Withrow will be the Crew’s third-string goalie behind Andy Gruenebaum and Matt Lampson. He was a four-year starter at Marshall University and only allowed 9 goals in 17 games last season, earning him the Co-Conference USA Player of the Year.
Shawn Sloan is an attacking player from High Point University. Over his four year collegiate career, he scored 24 goals and picked up 27 assists. Sloan was First-Team All-Big South in 2012.
In other Crew news, Milovan Mirosevic is definitely not returning this year, a trade involving Dilly Duka is imminent, and Aaron Horton is currently on trial with FK Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.