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