Columbus Crew SC Announces Roster Moves Ahead of 2019 Season

Columbus Crew SC Announces Roster Moves
Harrison, NJ - NOVEMBER 11: Columbus Crew defender Gaston Sauro (22) during the second half of the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Columbus Crew SC and the NY Red Bulls on November 11, 2018 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Columbus, Ohio (November 26, 2018) — Columbus Crew SC’s 2019 roster began to take a bit of shape on Monday.

The club announced a variety of roster moves, picking up the contract options of eight players while declining those of four. As a result, the roster as of right now stands at 22 players.

“2019 roster preparations are ongoing, and together with our returning players, we look to add new talent that can execute our style of play and position the team to return to the postseason,” Crew SC sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter said in a team release.

Columbus Crew SC Announces Roster Moves Ahead of 2019 Season

The Black and Gold exercised the contract options of the following players (by position).

Goalkeepers

Jon Kempin
Ben Lungaard

Defenders

Alex Crognale
Connor Maloney
Gaston Sauro
Josh Williams

Midfielders

Luis Argudo
Niko Hansen

Consequently, the following players’ options were not picked up by the club (by position).

Goalkeepers

Logan Ketterer

Midfielders

Ricardo Clark
Mike Grella
Cristian Martinez

Forwards

Adam Jahn

The club also announced the center back Lalas Abubakar agreed to a new contract with the Black and Gold. The 23-year-old Ghanaian completed his second year in Columbus after the team selected him in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.

Clark, a 14-year veteran of Major League Soccer, remains in negotiations with Columbus over a new contract. He does qualify for free agency.

Of course, perhaps the biggest question mark this team has during the off-season is the status of their head coach. The general consensus is that Berhalter is, for all intents and purposes, the next permanent USMNT manager. Multiple sources have indicated that an official announcement is coming this week.

The club will also be losing Zack Steffen. Per Paul Tenorio of The Athletic, the 23-year-old goalkeeper will be on his way Premier League giants Manchester City for a transfer fee between $7-10 million. Steffen mightily impressed for both club and country in 2018.

For now, the Crew SC roster looks like this. Players are listed in alphabetical order by position.

Goalkeepers

Jon Kempin
Ben Lungaard

Defenders

Lalas Abubakar
Harrison Afful
Alex Crognale
Connor Maloney
Jonathan Mensah
Gaston Sauro
Josh Williams

Midfielders

Luis Argudo
Artur
Niko Hansen
Federico Higuain
Hector Jimenez
Justin Meram
Edward Opoku
Pedro Santos
Eduardo Sosa
Wil Trapp

Forwards

Patrick Mullins
Gyasi Zardes

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