In conjunction with Major League Soccer, Columbus Crew SC recently announced the implementation of its Season Ticket Member jersey program, featuring special on-field shirt numbers that include printed images of select Season Ticket Members. The Black & Gold are set to wear these special jersey numbers throughout the month of August. In the first week of September, the jerseys will be autographed and auctioned off, with all proceeds benefitting the Columbus Crew SC Foundation.
Both the club’s Black & Gold kits in August are slated to feature the new jersey numbers. Earlier this year, qualifying Season Ticket Members were given the invitation to have their images printed within the numbers on the back of Crew SC’s jerseys. Those Season Ticket Members then had the opportunity to select which specific digit they preferred (0-9) and the location for their uploaded photograph within that digit.
Major League Soccer is the first League to utilize this platform, which is provided by Playing2. The Mexican National Team, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are among several teams in other countries that have previously used this platform in order to bring supporters closer to the game.
BRIDGE CLOSURE TO IMPACT CREW SC GAMES – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) closed the Hudson Street bridge spanning I-71 for a period of two-and-a-half months (approximately 75 days). Beginning with Crew SC’s home contest against New York City FC on Wednesday, Aug. 19, supporters coming to MAPFRE Stadium are advised to allow extra drive time as well as utilize the 17th Avenue exit (exit #111). The following details are important to note leading into the bridge closure.
ODOT is closing the 56-year-old bridge in order to remove it and construct a similarly-designed bridge. The adjacent intersections are also slated to be upgraded with sidewalks and curbing. During the closure, all traffic will be prohibited from crossing the bridge, including vehicles and pedestrians.
Immediately before and after Crew SC matches at MAPFRE Stadium, all lanes of I-71 will be open during the project in order to lessen the amount of traffic congestion in the area. During certain overnight hours, I-71 will be closed and vehicles will be routed around using the on- and off-ramps to maintain traffic flow.
At least four Crew SC matches are scheduled to be impacted by the closure, beginning with the Black & Gold’s next home match on Wednesday, August 19 against NYCFC and running through Crew SC’s contest on Saturday, September 26 against Portland Timbers FC. ODOT has advised that the bridge is scheduled to reopen under the best-case scenario by Thursday, October 15; under the worst-case scenario, the bridge could reopen on Monday, October 26, which would also affect Crew SC’s regular-season home finale on Sunday, October 25 against D.C. United.
SAURO SIGNED – Columbus Crew SC Thursday announced that the club has signed Argentine defender Gaston Sauro as a Discovery Signing. Sauro, 25, spent the 2014-15 season playing for Italian Serie B side Calcio Catania while on loan from Switzerland’s FC Basel, where he played for two full seasons from 2012-14. Targeted Allocation Money was used to acquire the player and per club and MLS policy, additional details of the deal were not disclosed. Sauro will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
BEDELL TRADED – Columbus Crew SC Thursday announced that it has acquired Orlando City SC’s highest Second Round selection in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft in exchange for forward Adam Bedell. Per club and MLS policy, additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Parting ways with a player is always difficult, but we feel this decision is best for Adam in his MLS development,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “We were pleased with Adam’s progression over the last year and a half and are excited to see him take the next step in his career. We enjoyed working with him and wish him well in Orlando.”
Bedell was originally drafted in the Third Round (45th overall) by Columbus in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. He scored two goals in his rookie campaign for the Black & Gold last season. This year, the former University of Detroit Mercy forward has made two competitive starts for Crew SC, both in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In the Fourth Round, on June 17 at Richmond, he notched his first professional brace in a 3-1 win.
RYDEN WAIVED – Columbus Crew SC Thursday announced that it has waived rookie defender Kalen Ryden. The defender was originally drafted by the Black & Gold in the Fourth Round (69th overall) of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft on January 20.
“Decisions like this are never easy,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “We would like to thank Kalen for his time and effort while he was at Columbus Crew SC. He’s a player that I know through his hard work and determination will land in the professional soccer ranks in America. It was a pleasure to work with him and we wish him all the best in the future.”
Formerly of Midwestern State University, Ryden was loaned to Crew SC’s USL affiliate, the Austin Aztex, on March 26, where he started the club’s first nine matches of the 2015 season. He scored his first professional goal vs. Real Monarchs SLC on May 9. The defender also earned a starting nod in Crew SC’s international friendly against Valencia CF on May 27.
MCINERNEY ACQUIRED – Columbus Crew SC Tuesday announced that it has acquired forward Jack McInerney from the Montreal Impact in exchange for its natural 2016 MLS SuperDraft Second Round selection. Per club and MLS policy, additional terms of the deal were not disclosed. At just 22 years old, McInerney’s 36 career MLS goals are tied for 22nd among all active players. Among that group of 24 players with at least 36 goals, McInerney is the youngest by nearly three full years. The 22-year-old turns 23 tomorrow, August 5; in Major League Soccer history, only one other player has scored more goals ahead of his 23rd birthday — former Columbus forward Stern John (44 goals).
McInerney joins a Crew SC side that enters the week in third place in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference and stands second in MLS in overall goals scored (36); tied for first in total shots (317); first in shots on goal (120) and assists (42); and tied for second in goals scored in the first 15 minutes of a match (six).
“We believe Jack McInerney is going to make an immediate impression on the club and feel that his qualities will help him assimilate easily into our system,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “He’s a young player that possesses great timing with his movements and has a talent for scoring goals. His track record so far in this League has been outstanding, and we look forward to him contributing on the field for us.”