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December 2017
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‘Crew SC’ Articles

Crew SC exercises 2018 options on contracts of several players

COLUMBUS CREW SC EXERCISES OPTIONS ON CONTRACTS OF NINE PLAYERS FOR 2018 SEASON
Black & Gold exercise options on nine players from 2017 roster that reached the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Championship; with 10 players already under contract, Crew SC’s 2018 roster currently stands at 19
COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC has confirmed that the core of its 2017 side that reached the 2017 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Championship is set to return in 2018 as the club announced that it has exercised the contract options on nine players from its 2017 roster, while 10 others were already under contract for the 2018 season, giving the Black & Gold a roster that currently features 19 players.

 

Crew SC exercised the options of defenders Lalas Abubakar, Harrison Afful, Connor Maloney and Josh Williams; midfielders Artur, Mohammed Abu, Niko Hansen and Cristian Martinez; and forward Ola Kamara. Crew SC will continue to remain in dialogue with Brazilian club Sao Paulo FC regarding midfielder Artur.

The Black & Gold simultaneously announced that they have declined the contract options of goalkeepers Logan Ketterer and Brad Stuver; defenders Waylon Francis and Gaston Sauro; and midfielders Marshall Hollingsworth, Abuchi Obinwa, Rodrigo Saravia and Ben Swanson. Crew SC will remain in discussions with defenders Gaston Sauro and Waylon Francis this offseason. Crew SC has also extended an offer to forward Kekuta Manneh, who is out of contract.

“Preparations for 2018 are underway and we are pleased to bring back the core of this year’s roster for next year,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “We came just short of our goal of returning to MLS Cup, but will look to continue to shape our roster in an effort to improve for the 2018 campaign.”

A full Major League Soccer list of players eligible for Free Agency, the Waiver Draft and Re-Entry Draft will be announced by the League. The MLS Half-Day Trade window takes place between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 10 and the Expansion Draft is set to be held on Tuesday, December 12 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Later that same day, MLS Free Agency begins at 3:00 p.m. ET. The MLS Waiver Draft is scheduled for Wednesday, December 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET and the MLS Re-Entry Draft begins with Stage One on Friday, December 15 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft takes place on Thursday, December 21 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Crew SC’s current 2018 roster is listed below:

Goalkeepers (1): Zack Steffen

Defenders (7): Lalas Abubakar, Harrison Afful, Alex Crognale, Connor Maloney, Jonathan Mensah, Jukka Raitala, Josh Williams

Midfielders (9): Artur, Mohammed Abu, Niko Hansen, Federico Higuain, Hector Jimenez, Cristian Martinez, Justin Meram, Pedro Santos, Wil Trapp

Forwards (2): Adam Jahn, Ola Kamara

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF COLUMBUS CREW SC COMMUNICATIONS

 

Crew SC gets midfielder Artur on regular basis after permanant transfer from Sao Paulo FC

21-year-old made 24 regular-season appearances (19 starts) for the Black & Gold in 2017, registering three assists;
Artur led Crew SC in tackles and made the sixth-highest number of tackles per 90 minutes in MLS during the 2017 regular season


COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC recently announced that the club has acquired Brazilian midfielder Artur (pronounced: are-TOUR) on a permanent transfer following his initial 2017 loan to Columbus from Sao Paulo FC of Brazil’s First Division. Artur, 21, played for the Black & Gold during the 2017 Major League Soccer season on loan and will continue to occupy an international roster spot for Crew SC.

Artur joined Crew SC on loan on February 13, 2017, making his club and MLS debut in a substitute appearance during a home match at MAPRE Stadium against the Chicago Fire on March 4. The 21-year-old midfielder went on to make 24 appearances (19 starts) for the Black & Gold during the 2017 MLS regular season, registering three assists, with Columbus going undefeated with a record of 3-0-0 in matches in which he provided an assist. Artur scored his first professional goal in Crew SC’s 4-1 home victory over New York City FC at MAPFRE Stadium in the First Leg of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals, scoring the game-winning strike.

Artur de Lima Junior

“Artur was one of the most promising young players in MLS last season and completing his transfer from Sao Paulo FC was one of our priorities this offseason,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “We are happy that he has committed his future to the club and we look forward to beginning our work together on a successful 2018 campaign.”

WATCH: More from Berhalter: http://crew.sc/2BPtTvd

The Brazilian midfielder led the Black & Gold in successful tackles during the regular season, registering 73 successful tackles. Artur’s average of 3.86 tackles per 90 minutes was the sixth-highest in the League in regular-season action, behind only Matias Laba (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Yangel Herrera (New York City FC), Juan Cabezas (Houston Dynamo), Darwin Ceren (San Jose Earthquakes) and Alexander Ring (New York City FC). The 21-year-old also averaged 8.01 recoveries per 90 minutes during 2017, more than any other Crew SC field player.

Prior to joining Crew SC, Artur played for Sao Paulo FC of the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A – Brazil’s topflight – where he made four appearances (four starts) for the club in 2016. During his time with Sao Paulo FC’s Under-20 Team, Artur won the Copa Libertadores – South America’s Continental Cup – in 2016, the Copa do Brasil – Brazil’s Domestic Cup – in 2015 and 2016, and the Campeonato Paulista – the Sao Paulo State Tournament – in 2016. Artur also won the Copa RS with Sao Paulo FC in 2015, the official Brazilian national tournament for U-20 teams. Prior to his time with the Tricolor, Artur was with Esporte Clube Bahia’s U-19 side, a club he joined at the age of 16. There, Artur won the U-17 Metropolitan Cup and the U-18 Bahia Championship in 2014.

TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew SC acquires midfielder Artur on a permanent transfer from Sao Paulo FC on December 6, 2017. He will continue to occupy an international roster slot on Crew SC’s roster.

Name: Artur de Lima Junior (are-TOUR)
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 154
Born: March 11, 1996 in Brumado, Bahia, Brazil
Hometown: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Citizenship: Brazil
Acquired: Originally arrived on loan from Sao Paulo FC on February 13, 2017 and was acquired on a permanent transfer on December 6, 2017. Artur will continue to occupy an international roster slot on Crew SC’s roster.
Previous Experience: Columbus Crew SC (2017), Sao Paulo FC (2015-2016)

 

Website: ColumbusCrewSC.com | Twitter: @ColumbusCrewSC | Instagram: @ColumbusCrewSC | Hashtag: #CrewSC | Facebook.com/columbuscrewsc | Snapchat: ColumbusCrewSC | Google+: +columbuscrewsc | Stadium: MAPFRE Stadium | Training Facility: EAS Training Center at Obetz

ABOUT COLUMBUS CREW SC
Columbus Crew SC (Soccer Club) is the first club in Major League Soccer and in 2015, Crew SC was crowned MLS Eastern Conference Champions in the organization’s 20th season. Owned and operated by Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV), it won its first MLS Cup championship in 2008 and also won the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. The 2017 campaign was the Black & Gold’s 19th season at historic MAPFRE Stadium – the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States – where the club set single-season sellout records and hosted the 2015 MLS Cup. The club was purchased by PSV on July 29, 2013 as part of the privately held investment and management firm’s sports and entertainment business enterprise.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF COLUMBUS CREW SC COMMUNICATIONS

 

Crew SC hosts Toronto FC in MLS Eastern Conference Finals 1st Leg tonight

FIRST LEG OF AUDI 2017 MLS CUP PLAYOFFS EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
Winner of two-legged series on aggregate score advances to 2017 MLS Cup

For Immediate Release: November 21, 2017

COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew hosts Toronto FC at MAPFRE Stadium tonight, Tuesday, November 21 in the First Leg of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Championship. The contest kicks-off at 8:00 p.m. ET and is set to be televised nationally on ESPN with Adrian Healey (play-by-play), Taylor Twellman (analyst) and Julie Stewart-Binks (sideline) on the call. Tonight’s match also airs locally on the radio on CD102.5 FM in English, with Neil Sika and Dwight Burgess on the call. La Mega 103.1 FM has the match airing in Spanish, with Juan Valladares behind the microphone. The Spanish radio calls are also set to be streamed in Spanish on the LaMega1 App and via Tunein Radio as WVKO-FM. The club’s official website, ColumbusCrewSC.com, is set to stream the English-language radio broadcast online.

MLS GAME NOTES PACKAGE: http://bit.ly/2017GameGuides

Crew SC earned a berth in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Championship after facing New York City FC in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Black & Gold advanced to the Eastern Conference Championship after winning the two-leg series 4-3 on aggregate-score. This is the seventh time in club history that the Black & Gold have reached the Eastern Conference Championship, having reached the same stage in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2008 and 2015. Crew SC won the Eastern Conference Championship in 2008 and 2015 en route to reaching MLS Cup on both occasions. Additionally, this is the second time in four years under Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter that Columbus reaches the Eastern Conference Championship, as Berhalter previously led the Black & Gold to the 2015 MLS Cup.

Tonight’s match against Toronto FC marks the first time that Crew SC has faced the Canadian side in an MLS Cup Playoffs match. Last year, Toronto FC reached the 2016 MLS Cup before falling to Seattle Sounders FC via penalty shootout (4-5). The Black & Gold have an all-time regular-season record of 13-8-10 against Toronto dating back to 2007. Over that span, Crew SC has posted a regular-season home record of 9-4-4 against Toronto FC, outscoring the Reds 31-23. Moreover, Toronto FC is now the third consecutive opponent that Crew SC faces for the first time in an MLS Cup Playoffs match. Previously, Columbus faced expansion side Atlanta United FC in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round before taking on New York City FC in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Black & Gold are undefeated over their last eight home matches across all MLS competitions with a record of 7-0-1, dating back to a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union at MAPFRE Stadium on July 22. Over that span, Crew SC has outscored its opponents 18-6 at home while recording three shutouts. Moreover, 11 of those 18 goals have been scored by either Justin Meram or Ola Kamara, with Meram registering six strikes and Kamara tallying five goals. Notably, Federico Higuain has recorded eight assists in Crew SC’s last five home matches, with four of those being game-winning assists.

During the international break, two Crew SC players saw action on the international stage, as Harrison Afful and Ola Kamara played for their respective national teams. Afful started for Ghana in a FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifying match against Egypt on November 12, captaining the Black Stars to a 1-1 draw as he earned his 76th cap for Ghana. Meanwhile, Kamara made a start for Norway in a friendly against Macedonia on November 11, playing 79 minutes. This was Kamara’s first appearance for Norway since a playing in a friendly against England on September 3, 2014. Kamara also earned his ninth cap in Norway’s friendly against Slovakia (November 14).

 

Columbus Crew SC vs. Toronto FC
Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Championship, First Leg

Tuesday, November 21 – 8:00 p.m. ET – MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)

National Television: ESPN (Coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. ET)
International Television: Abu Dhabi (Middle East and North Africa), BeIN Sports (Asia, Australia), DSports/ATR (India), EuroSport (Pan Europe), FOX Sports Africa (Sub-Saharan Africa), Fuji TV (Japan), Sky Sports (United Kingdom), Sportscast (Taiwan) and StarHub (Singapore)
Crew SC Radio: CD102.5 FM (English); La Mega 103.1 FM (Spanish), Spanish radio broadcast also simulcast on LaMega1 App and via TuneIn Radio as WVKO-FM, English radio broadcast also simulcast on ColumbusCrewSC.com

 

 

GAME PREVIEW WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF COLUMBUS CREW SC COMMUNICATIONS

From meeting in New York City with MLS and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, Precourt Sports Ventures gives statement

Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt

STATEMENT FROM PRECOURT SPORTS VENTURES
November 15, 2017

“Precourt Sports Ventures and Major League Soccer met this afternoon in New York City with Mayor Ginther and Alex Fischer, at the request of the city, in anticipation of being presented an actionable plan and a legitimate offer that would advance efforts to improve Crew SC’s long-term ability to operate and compete in Columbus. Both PSV and the league entered the meeting with open minds, no demands and a complete willingness to listen and entertain concrete ideas or a meaningful proposal from the city’s representatives at the meeting.

 

We were extremely disappointed that no concrete offer or proposal was presented and that the City of Columbus then told us that it would not communicate with us past today.

 

Precourt Sports Ventures made a clear commitment to Columbus four years ago by purchasing 100 percent of Columbus Crew SC. In the meantime, despite successful efforts to reinvent the brand and improve the Club, market challenges for Crew SC in Columbus continue to mount.

 

Despite the city’s refusal to make a real offer and its decision to cease conversations, we remain open to a productive dialogue if the City of Columbus reconsiders. Columbus Crew SC remains focused on our quest to win MLS Cup.”

 

 

ABOUT PRECOURT SPORTS VENTURES, LLC
Precourt Sports Ventures, LLC (PSV) is a privately held investment and management firm focused on the sports-entertainment business, with a particular interest in the growing sport of soccer. As the Managing Partner, Anthony Precourt formed PSV in 2012. PSV currently owns and operates Columbus Crew SC of Major League Soccer and manages its home pitch, MAPFRE Stadium.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF PRECOURT SPORTS VENTURES, LLC and COLUMBUS CREW SC

 

MLS announces upcoming expansion draft details as Los Angeles Football Club readies for 2018 debut

 

NEW YORK (Tuesday, November 14, 2017) – As the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) continue to build a roster for their inaugural campaign in 2018, Major League Soccer today announced that the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft will take place on Tuesday, December 12 at 2 p.m. ET. In addition, MLS released the full offseason calendar, outlining the important events and dates for teams beginning to make roster preparations for the 2018 MLS season.

 

This marks the 11th MLS Expansion Draft in the league’s history and serves as the first significant league-wide event for LAFC to add additional players around Mexican star forward Carlos Vela.

 

While Generation adidas players and off-budget Homegrown Players are exempt from selection, current MLS clubs may protect 11 players prior to the Expansion Draft. LAFC may select five players from the eligible player pool. Importantly, only a single player can be drafted from any one club.

 

After all 22 current MLS clubs submit their protected player list, the complete list of players eligible for selection in the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft will be released on Dec. 10 by 5:30 p.m. ET.

 

The MLS Expansion Draft is just the starting point for offseason roster activity in preparation for 2018. The additional offseason drafts and important player acquisition dates are detailed below.

 

Nov. 27
1:00 PM ET

 

 

 

Option Exercise Deadline

Clubs no longer competing in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs must notify the League Office in writing of (1) players whose options they are exercising and/or (2) players who are receiving bona fide offers, announced by the teams.

 

All roster decisions will be publicized by the individual clubs.

Dec. 1
 

1:00 PM ET

 

 

Option Exercise Deadline for Non-MLS Cup Participants

Non-MLS Cup participants must notify the League Office in writing of (1) players whose options they are exercising and/or (2) players who are receiving bona fide offers, announced by the clubs.

 

All roster decisions will be publicized by the individual clubs.

Dec. 10
9:00 AM-1:00 PM ET

 

Half Day Trade Window

Following a three-month roster freeze, MLS clubs may begin making adjustments to their rosters. This is a four-hour window in which clubs may sign and trade players.

 

All roster moves will be publicized by the individual clubs.

12:00 PM ET

 

 

Option Exercise Deadline for MLS Cup Participants

 

Clubs that compete in MLS Cup must notify the League Office in writing of (1) players whose options they are exercising and/or (2) players who are receiving bona fide offers.

 

All roster decisions will be publicized by the individual clubs.

1:00 PM ET

 

Blackout Period begins

 

Blackout Period begins whereby clubs may no longer sign and/or trade their own draft-eligible players until conclusion of Expansion Draft.

Dec. 12
2:00 PM ET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 MLS Expansion Draft

 

While Generation adidas and off-budget Homegrown Players are automatically exempt, current MLS clubs may protect up to 11 players from selection in the Expansion Draft.

 

LAFC may select up to five players from the eligible MLS player pool. Only a single player can be drafted from any one club.

 

 

The list of players eligible for selection in Expansion Draft will be released by MLS Communications at 6 p.m. ET on Dec. 10.

3:00 PM ET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Agency Begins

 

Out of Contract and Option Decline players that were at least 28 years old during the 2017 season and have at least eight years of MLS service are eligible for Free Agency.

 

MLS Communications will make the complete list of Free Agents available on Dec. 10.

 

Dec. 13
3:30 PM ET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 MLS Waiver Draft

 

Consisting of players who have been waived by clubs and do not meet minimum years of service requirement for Re-Entry Draft or Free Agency; the draft is conducted in reverse order of 2017 season finish, taking into account postseason performance, with expansion LAFC picking 23rd.

 

The list of players eligible for selection in Waiver Draft will be released by MLS Communications at 6 p.m. ET on Dec. 12.

Dec. 15

3:00 PM ET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft – Stage 1

The Re-Entry Draft (both stages) is conducted in reverse order of 2017 season finish, taking into account postseason performance, with expansion club LAFC selecting last.

 

The list of players eligible for selection in the Re-Entry Draft – Stage 1 will be released by MLS Communications at 7 p.m. ET on Dec. 14.

 

Eligible players include:

Option Decline Players: Players not eligible for Free Agency who will be at least 23 years old in 2017 with a minimum

of three years of MLS experience

 

Out of Contract Players: Players not eligible for Free Agency

who have not received a Bona Fide Offer and who are at least 25 years old with a minimum of four years of MLS experience. or are at least 30 years old with a minimum of eight years of MLS experience

 

Dec. 21
2:00 PM ET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft – Stage 2

 

Stage 2 includes MLS players who were not selected in the Stage 1 draft, but not necessarily all Stage 1 players as they can re-sign with their previous club between stages; teams selecting in this stage have the right to negotiate with the player for a new contract; the format of the draft is conducted in the same manner as Stage 1.

 

 

The list of players eligible for selection in the Re-Entry Draft – Stage 2 will be released by MLS Communications at 7:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 20.

   

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

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