The Columbus Crew have been able to keep the majority of their starting XI from the 2019 campaign. They also boast plenty of MLS experience. The defensive trio of Harrison Afful, Waylon Francis and Josh Williams have all played more than 100 games in the league, while versatile winger Hector Jimenez is also part of that club.
Eloy Room and Jon Kempin are two of the goalkeepers that featured for the side in 2019, while the likes of Jonathan Mensah and Milton Valenzuela remain with Columbus in their defensive line.
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Further forward, Artur continues in central midfield, while both Pedro Santos and Gyasi Zardes, the club’s two best performers a year ago, are still in the Crew’s ranks and will be looking to continue their good from which saw them score 24 goals between them.
Transfers & SuperDraft Picks
Nine players have left the club over the course of the offseason, with five of those seeing their options declined at the end of the season by the Crew’s management. They include the midfield trio of David Guzman, Edward Opuku and Eduardo Sosa, goalkeeper Ben Ludgaard, and centre-half Alex Crognale.
Defender Lalas Abubakar was one of two playesr to leave in the offseason for a transfer fee. The Ghanaian signed for the Colorado Rapids with Columbus receiving $400,000 in GAM, along with an international roster spot. The other was their midfield maestro Wil Trapp, who made the move to Inter Miami CF, one of the two expansion sides for the new term, with the Crew receiving $100,000 GAM and an international roster slot.
Luis Argudo was selected by Inter Miami CF in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft, while Jamaican forward Romario Williams also moved to Florida, signing for Miami FC on a free transfer at the start of January.
Eight men may have left, but eight have also come to Columbus, including two big-money signings. MLS stalwart Darlington Nagbe arrives from Atlanta United for a combined $1.05million in Allocation and an international roster spot, while the Crew’s biggest move of the offseason came just before Christmas when they signed Argentinian midfielder Lucas Zelarayan from Liga MX side Tigres UANL. The deal cost Columbus a reported $7million.
The club also made moves for LA Galaxy goalkeeper Matt Lampson and Colorado Rapids’ midfielder Axel Sjoberg, along with claiming Fanendo Adi off MLS waivers in January.
The 2020 MLS SuperDraft was a busy one for the Crew with four picks in the opening three rounds. They took University of San Diego forward Miguel Berry with the seventh overall pick, before also selecting Saint Mary’s goalkeeper Remi Prieur and Providence midfielder Danny Griffin in the second round. VCU defender Ryo Shimazaki came to the club via a third-round pick.