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SBI Rookie of the Week: Rich Balchan

Rich Balchan (Getty)

In a season that has seen some other rookies garner more headlines, Columbus Crew utility man Rich Balchan has quietly put together one of the better rookie seasons in the league.

Balchan is a secret no more, not after his clutch last-minute equalizer in the Crew's 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls last Saturday. His performance in that match, and that vital goal, helped Balchan earn SBI MLS Rookie of the Week honors.

Having played both as a defender and midfielder this season, Balchan has made a smooth transition to MLS after a standout career at Indiana University, where he was teammates with another MLS Rookie of the Year contender in Will Bruin.

Balchan took the honors in a week that saw several strong performances by rookies, including by the D.C. United tandem of Ethan White and Perry Kitchen, as well as Anthony Ampaipitakwong, to name a few.

What did you think of Balchan's performance? Who would you have picked as this week's top rookie?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. When I think of the Crew in recent years, I think of GBS and the MLS Cup and the Supporters Shields. Then I think a little further and think of Sergio Hererra and Andres Mendoza. Hopefully guys like Balchan, Duka, and Meram will get the good thoughts going again.

  2. I’ll take you at your word Ives and I’ll put him in my mfls lineup this week but if he screws up there’ll be hell to pay. I’ve had him on my bench most of the year but haven’t played him much.

  3. Do you mean dumping half of their MLS Cup winning squad in the off season? or spending half a million on a DP that won’t run?

    That being said, the boys are stepping up, we just need some goal production…

  4. The Crew play a nice style of team football, but I question some of their transfer moves. Balchan has been solid.

  5. He’s not the only one to make that mistake. Our new football coach called it “University of Indiana” as well in his press conference after he was hired…


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