Columbus, Ohio (December 27, 2018) — Columbus Crew SC enhanced its goalkeeping depth for 2019 on Thursday.
The Black and Gold announced that they acquired the right of first refusal to goalkeeper Joe Bendik from Orlando City SC. In exchange, Columbus will send $50,000 of targeted allocation money Orlando’s way.
Welcome to the 🖤&💛, @Jtbendik!
— Columbus Crew SC (@ColumbusCrewSC) December 27, 2018
Joe Bendik Acquired by Columbus Crew SC
“We are pleased to welcome Joe Bendik to Columbus Crew SC,” Crew SC interim general manager Pat Onstad said in a team release. “Joe is a talented, veteran goalkeeper that brings significant experience in this League to our group and we are excited to integrate him into the team and our goalkeeping corps. We look forward to Joe pushing Zack Steffen, Jon Kempin and Ben Lundgaard as we begin the 2019 season.”
Bendik, 29, has been a fixture at the goalkeeper position in MLS for quite some time now. He spent the previous three seasons in Orlando where he made 92 appearances, posted 13 clean sheets, and registered 316 saves. Prior to that, he played for Toronto FC from 2013-15, appearing in 73 games (all starts) and registering nine shutouts and making 217 saves in that time. He also spent time with the Portland Timbers in a reserve role during the 2012 season.
Bendik’s professional career began abroad. He spent two seasons with Sogndal in Norway beginning in 2010. That year, he made eight starts and helped the club gain promotion to the Norwegian top flight.
The Marietta, GA native played collegiately at Clemson from 2006-09. He made a total of 61 appearances during his time with the Tigers and earned second-team All-ACC honors in 2008. He also boasts youth USMNT experience, having spent time with both the U-17 and U-18 sides in 2005 and 2006.
The acquisition of Bendik means that Crew SC now has four goalkeepers on the roster. In addition to star netminder Zack Steffen, MLS veteran Jon Kempin and second-year keeper Ben Lundgaard round out the goalkeeping corps. But Steffen is set to depart Crew SC in the summer for English Premier League titans Manchester City. So the opportunity for Bendik to assume a starter role in Columbus is there for the taking moving forward.