Columbus Crew SC announced the signing of veteran free agent forward Conor Casey on Tuesday morning.
"We are pleased to add Conor Casey to our squad," head coach Gregg Berhalter said in the press release. "He is an MLS Cup champion and in addition to his invaluable amount of experience in this League and in Germany, Conor brings proven goal-scoring ability and a high level of soccer intelligence. We would like to thank Conor for choosing Crew SC and we look forward to integrating him into our system immediately as we continue preseason training."
The striker has nine years of Major League Soccer experience as well as time in the German Bundesliga and with the U.S. National Team. Casey is sixth all-time in MLS history with 71 career goals.
Casey began his professional career with Borussia Dortmund in 2000 where he made four appearances and scored one goal in five seasons. He was sent out on loan before going to Mainz 05 for two seasons and then returned to North American with Toronto FC in 2007.
It didn't take long for Casey to be traded to the Colorado Rapids in April of that year and he went on to score 50 goals in 119 appearances with the club including winning the 2010 MLS Cup over FC Dallas. In that match, Casey score the game-tying goal and was named MLS Cup MVP.
With the Philadelphia Union, where he went ahead of the 2013 season, Casey scored 10 goals in his debut year, following that up with eight goals in 2014, and had a three-goal year last year as his playing time decreased.
On the global stage, Casey has earned 19 caps with the USA and has two international goals to his name. He made his U.S. debut on March 31, 2004 against Poland and scored two goals in a World Cup Qualifier against Honduras on October 10, 2009.
Casey also competed for the U.S. at the U-23 level, playing in the 2000 Summer Olympics before he made the move to Dortmund.
The forward is expected to bring depth to a position of need for Crew SC, who lost Aaron Schoenfeld and Jack McInerney this offseason. Fellow Black & Gold striker Kei Kamara, who led the team in scoring last season with 22 goals, is reported to be currently holding out of preseason camp.
There will be more on the Kamara situation and the Casey signing later today, so check back with Massive Report.