PHILADELPHIA - Penn senior midfielder Alex Grendi was drafted by the 2008 MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew in the third round (45th overall) of the 2009 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, which was held Thursday.

"It is an honor to be considered one of the top college players in the country," said Grendi. "And then to be drafted by the MLS Cup champs? I couldn't ask for more."

A native of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Grendi was a playmaker from the beginning, and goes in the Penn record book as such. His 20 career assists puts him in a tie for third all-time. More impressive is that, prior to his arrival, the top five marks were all set in the 1970s. He has led the Quakers in assists three of his four seasons and was twice named the team’s Offensive MVP. As a freshman, he was the team’s co-Most Valuable Freshman, and as a sophomore earned All-Ivy honors. Alex scored eight goals including four game-winners while wearing the Red and Blue.

In 2008, he was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection and was named to the NSCAA All-Northeast region third team.

He joins two recent Quakers to be drafted to the MLS. Goalkeeper Matt Haefner C’02 was selected in the sixth round of the 2002 MLS Superdraft, while fellow keeper Dan Cepero was taken in the 2007 Supplemental Draft. Cepero had a storybook season with Red Bull New York in 2008. After securing the starting role late in the season, Cepero helped the Red Bulls not only clinch a playoff berth, but battle through the postseason to the MLS Cup final where they ultimately lost to Grendi's new teammates, the Crew.