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Archive for December 16th, 2017

Crew SC exercises 2018 options on contracts of several players

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




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:

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

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.




Toronto FC crowned 2017 Major League Soccer Champions



Georgia State Panthers embark on 5-game road trip starting at tough UD Arena tonight


Ron Hunter head coach, Dayton native played at nearby Miami of Ohio

D'Marcus Simonds, star player can drop 30 points on any team
















ATLANTA-Looking to continue one of its best starts in program history, Georgia State will begin a stretch of five-straight games on the road at Dayton on Saturday night. Tip-off between the Panthers and Flyers is set for 7 p.m. in UD Arena.

Georgia State has won four of its last five games and the 7-3 start is tied for the third-best 10-game beginning to a season in program history. Dayton enters play at 4-5 and has lost three of its last four with two of those coming to SEC opponents.

This will mark the first of two-straight games against opponents from the Atlantic 10 Conference and the first-ever with Dayton.

Despite being the visitor’s on the scoreboard, this will serve as a “home game” for head coach Ron Hunter who hails from Dayton. Hunter attended Chaminade-Julienne High School before going on to play collegiately at Miami (Ohio).

Hunter, who picked up his 400th career win earlier this year, is already Georgia State’s all-time winningest coach, despite this being just his seventh season at the helm of the Panthers.

“I’m pleased that we can bring our team back to a city that means a lot to me,” Hunter said. “Dayton was a great place to grow up and will always be special to me. With that said, this is a business trip for us and we will be playing a very good Dayton team. Despite their record, they are one of the top teams in the A-10 and will be playing in front of a packed UD Arena.”

Georgia State enters play ranked No. 12 in the NCAA with a 5.8 turnover margin, along with the No. 30 scoring defense (62.9 ppg) and No. 33 field goal percentage defense (38.5 percent) in the country.

Among Georgia State’s most potent offensive options is sophomore D’Marcus Simonds who enters Saturday averaging 20.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. The reigning Sun Belt Freshman of the Year has scored 30 or more points in two of the last three games, including a career-high 35 points against Liberty last week.

The Panthers are scoring 72.9 points per game while holding opponents to just 62.9 points per contest. Equally remarkable, Georgia State has forced 176 turnovers, while turning the ball over just 118 times.


  • Seniors Jordan Session and Isaiah Williams have both reached the 100 career games played mark this season. Last year three Panthers accomplished the mark.
  • Session, along with Simonds and Benlevi are all among the top six in the Sun Belt in steals per game.
  • Simonds and Benlevi rank Nos. 1 and 2 in the Sun Belt in minutes played per game.
  • Georgia State ranks first in the Sun Belt in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and turnover margin, along with second in steals.
  • The Panthers have started 7-3 in two of the last three years.

Quick Notes:

• Georgia State’s 7-3 start is tied for the third-best 10-game start in program history.

• GSU is coming off a 90-70 victory over Point on Tuesday and has won four of its last five games.

• Simonds has scored in double figures in 27-straight games, among the top 20 longest streaks in the country.

• Simonds, who was named the College Sports Madness Sun Belt Player of the Week on Monday, has scored 30+ in two of the last three games.

• With a win on Saturday, GSU would improve to 8-3 for the second time in the last three years.

• Georgia State enters play ranked No. 12 in the NCAA with a turnover margin of 5.8.

• Head coach Ron Hunter, Georgia State’s all-time leader in wins, won the 400th game of his career on Nov. 20 against Eastern Washington.

• Hunter has led the Panthers to four of the seven most successful seasons in program history, including a pair of 25-win seasons.

• This will serve as a “home” game for Hunter who grew up in Dayton and attended Chaminade-Julienne High School.

• Senior Isaiah Williams played in his 100th career game last Saturday. He is also just 69 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

• Williams, along with Jordan Session have both surpassed 100 career games played this season.

• Georgia State was picked to finish second in the annual Sun Belt Coaches’ Preseason Poll.

• Georgia State is currently receiving votes in the latest Mid-Major Top 25 poll.

• The Panthers have won 20 or more games in three of the last four seasons, advancing to postseason play in each of those years.

• Since the start of the 2013-14 season, the Panthers have won 93 games, the most of any NCAA Division 1 program in the state of Georgia.










Dayton Flyers hosts tough Georgia State coached by Dayton native Ron Hunter tonight at 7 pm


Dayton Hosts Georgia State Saturday at 7 p.m. ET

DAYTON — The University of Dayton Flyers return to action after exam week when they host the Georgia State Panthers on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.  The game will be carried by Spectrum Sports and is available with live streaming video, audio and stats at
•This is the first meeting between the two programs.
•In the last seven years, Dayton is 32-11 in December (.744).
•UD has won 15 of the last 18 games in December.
•The Flyers have had a winning record in December for 18 consecutive seasons.
•The Flyers have not started a season 4-5 since the 1998-99 campaign.
•UD’s strength of schedule is fourth-best in the country in the RPI report from Dec. 13.
•Dayton has won seven straight against Sun Belt programs.
•Josh Cunningham ranks fourth in the NCAA in field goal percentage (.714) and has reached double figures in points six of the last seven contests.
•Cunningham set a Dayton program record with 22 consecutive field goals over the last three games. The previous mark was 18 held by Sean Finn over four games during the 2002-03 season.
•Cunningham averaged 15.7 points, 113 rebounds and shooting .721 (44 of 61) from the field in the last seven games.
•Darrell Davis has scored in double figures in all but one game (Penn) this season.
•Davis’ 17.7 scoring average is fifth in the Atlantic 10 and 12.2 points higher than last year.
•Kostas Antetokounmpo has a team-best 15 blocks, the second-most in school history through the first nine games. Steve McElvene had 19 in his first nine games as a Flyer.
•Antetokounmpo has at least one block in his last five games.
•In Dayton victories Xeyrius Williams is averaging 10.0 points with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.67. In the losses, Williams’ averages drop to 7.0 points and 1.5 assist-to-turnover ratio. He has missed the last five games with back spasms.
•John Crosby scored a career-high 15 points off the bench against Penn.
•Jordan Davis is 9 of 19 (.474) from three-point range and has a 6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in his last four contests.
•Opponents are shooting .432 (32 of 74) from three-point range the last three games.
•Dayton is one of 19 schools to have made the last four NCAA Tournaments.
•Dayton heads to California to face the Saint Mary’s Gaels on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 10 p.m. ET.
•The Flyers return home on Saturday, Dec. 23 to face Wagner in the final non-conference game of the season.