Age at MLS Cup: 19
Hometown: Westerville, OH
ALL COMPETITIONS IN 2020:
Sebastian was no stranger to MAPFRE Stadium prior to signing with the Crew. Obviously, his dad coached the team from 2014-2018, but his accomplishments speak for themselves. He was a member of the Crew’s academy since 2014 and was often seen in the stands ardently supporting the Black & Gold. (While also keeping a maturely watchful eye on his rambunctious friend, Frankie Hejduk.) Berhalter went from the Crew’s academy to college powerhouse UNC before signing with the Crew as a homegrown player prior to the 2020 season. He is the latest link between the Tar Heels in the Crew, following in the footsteps of guys like Chris Leitch, Ben Speas, and Kirk Urso.
THROUGH JOSH’S EYES
“I’ve obviously known Seba for a long time as he used to come train with us when his dad was our coach. He’s someone I kind of took under my wing. Hector and I did, just because we’ve been around for so long. Along with Aidan Morris and Wil Trapp, Seba is one of the few people I’ve seen with that kind of work ethic and professionalism at such a young age. He’s mature beyond his years. I think it’s one of those coach’s son things where you’re just around the game all the time. He got to hear his dad talk about the game all the time. He’s only 19, but he’s such a mature kid and he works his butt off.
“One thing that really sticks out to be about Seba, and one of my favorite characteristics about him, is that every time he came into a game, whether it was his debut or any other game, he wasn’t afraid to try things. He was never afraid to be himself. It didn’t matter if it was in training or in a game, it was like if a ball needed to be hit, there was never any doubt or second-guessing with him. It was like, ‘If the ball needs to go there, then I’m gonna hit it.’ Early on, maybe some of those didn’t connect, and normally that might sometimes put a kid into a shell. If you try something and it doesn’t come off, you’re not gonna try it again. So I think my favorite characteristic of his game is that he’s never afraid to try something, even if it didn’t work the first time. If a ball needs to go there, he’s gonna hit it. I think that’s a great quality to have as a young player.
“He’s just got that work ethic. Him and Aidan are always sticking around the field and sometimes he would just be out there by himself hitting free kicks. He’s got an insatiable appetite to get better. The sky’s the limit for him. If him and Aidan continue to work like this, I think they are going to have long careers.”
[NOTE: To see a clickable list of earlier installments of this Josh Williams series or other MLS Cup related posts, please click HERE.]
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