Columbus Crew SC today announced that the club has signed seven-year Major League Soccer veteran defender and former player Josh Williams after selecting him in Stage Two of the 2016 MLS Re-Entry Draft. By re-joining Crew SC, Williams becomes one of seven Black & Gold players on the current roster that have made more than 100 regular-season appearances in MLS.
The defender returns to Columbus for his second stint with Crew SC after he was originally signed by the club in September 15, 2010. Williams wore the colors of the Black & Gold during his first five seasons from 2010-2014, going on to make 76 regular-season appearances (68 starts), scoring four goals and providing four assists during his time in Ohio. He was a member of the team during Gregg Berhalter’s first season as Crew SC’s Sporting Director and Head Coach, making 13 starts during the 2014 regular-season, a season in which he also provided one assist.
“We are pleased to welcome Josh back to Columbus Crew SC,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “Josh has a valuable understanding of our system and he brings veteran experience that will help the club on and off the field. We look forward to working with him once again as we prepare for the 2017 season.”
Following his tenure with Crew SC, Williams played for both New York City FC and Toronto FC. In 2016, he made 15 appearances (11 starts) to help Toronto become the 2016 Eastern Conference Champions. Over his seven-year MLS career, Williams has made 103 regular-season appearances (93 starts), with four goals and five assists.
A native of Copley, Ohio, he played four seasons for Cleveland State University, making 74 appearances (74 starts), scoring 12 goals and providing eight assists. Williams was the Vikings’ captain during his junior and senior year. He tied for the team scoring lead his senior year with six goals and was named to the Division I All-Ohio Team, All-Horizon League First Team, and the All-Pac 12 First-Team. Williams also played for the Cleveland Internationals of the USL Professional Development League prior to joining Crew SC in 2010.
Under Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter, the 2017 MLS Preseason begins on Monday, January 23, 2017 after entrance physicals and testing. From there, the club departs to Sao Paulo, Brazil for its first preseason camp. Crew SC is slated to remain in Brazil through February 9 before returning to Columbus. The team will be in Central Ohio at SuperKick in Powell from February 8 – February 12 for the second camp of preseason. Following the time in Ohio, the club travels to Charleston, South Carolina to participate in the 2017 Carolina Challenge Cup. More information on Season Ticket Memberships for the 2017 season at MAPFRE Stadium is available at columbuscrewsc.com.