Guatemala U23 standout Saravia drafted by Columbus

Guatemala under-23 star Rodrigo Saravia (pictured) was chosen by Columbus Crew SC in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. (Photo: Luis Rolando Solares)

BALTIMORE, Maryland – Guatemala under-23 midfielder Rodrigo Saravia was selected by Columbus Crew SC in the first round of the 2016 Major League Soccer SuperDraft on Thursday.

The 22-year-old spent the last four years playing for Florida Gulf Coast University (67 games, 2 goals) and was named the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year for 2015.

“I can’t even describe it, it’s awesome, it’s probably the best day of my life,” Saravia told Crew SC’s website, after being chosen as the 19th overall pick. “I’m just so happy to be on a good team, the best team in the league.”

Saravia, who has trained with Guatemala’s senior squad, played in all four matches of the Chapines’ Central American Olympic qualifying campaign last year.

If he appears in a league match, Saravia will Fredy Garcia and Mario Rodriguez as the only Guatemalans to play for Crew SC. Marco Pappa (Colorado Rapids) and Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas) are the only competitors from the Central American nation currently in MLS.


Ten Guatemalans have previously played in MLS: Gustavo Cabrera (Real Salt Lake), Fredy Garcia (Columbus Crew SC), Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas), Martin Machon (LA Galaxy, Miami Fusion), Marco Pappa (Chicago Fire, Seattle Sounders Colorado Rapids), Guillermo Ramirez (LA Galaxy), Jorge Rodas (San Jose Clash), Mario Rodriguez (Columbus Crew SC), Carlos Ruiz (LA Galaxy, FC Dallas, Toronto FC, D.C. United, Philadelphia Union) and Elias Enoc Vasquez (Real Salt Lake).