DAYTON — New Columbus Crew defender Matt Wiet credits his time with the Dayton Dutch Lions as a great transition between college soccer and Major League Soccer.
“It was nothing but a positive experience,” Wiet stated. “It definitely helped. And I think there will be a lot of players to benefit from the experience.”
He praised the Dutch Lions’ family-oriented attitude and found everyone from the coaches to the front-office staff to be incredibly welcoming and helpful.
The Columbus native recently became the Crew’s sixth ‘Homegrown Player’ after an exemplary collegiate career at both Indiana and UCLA. He claimed a laundry list of awards during his time there, including Big Ten All-Freshman, Defensive MVP, Second Team All-Pac-12, and First-Team National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Far West Region honors. He would go on to log four starts with DDL in a shortened USL PRO season.
It is no wonder that the Crew swooped in to sign Wiet, especially since he was a highly touted prospect in the upcoming MLS SuperDraft.
But signing with a team that has embraced the Homegrown program certainly has its benefits.
“I’ve played in the Crew’s system. I know the system. Having good friends like Chad (Barson), Ben (Speas), and Wil (Trapp) on the team is really helpful. They were the trailblazers, paving the way for players like me.”
Wiet admits that the 2014 Crew will be a different team from last season, but he is excited for the opportunity.
“For them to put faith in me, it’s an honor. I’m excited to play for a great city. This is my home. I want to make an impact.”
Wiet seems primed to do just that, on and off the field. And it all started with an opportunity to play in USL PRO with the Dayton Dutch Lions. Hopefully the Crew’s affiliation with DDL will launch even more careers moving forward.
Story submitted by the Dayton Dutch Lions FC