After a report on Monday linked Columbus Crew SC with Ghanian defensive midfielder Mohammed Abu, the club confirmed the news on Tuesday.
“Mohammed is a talented, technical player that we believe will fit well into our system and style of play,” sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter said in the press release. “Across his experience in Norway, France and Spain, we believe that a combination of his experience, skillset and character will be a good fit for Crew SC. We are glad to have him in Columbus and it is certainly an added bonus that he is familiar with the area as his wife has lived in Central Ohio.”
Abu began his career signing with Manchester City of the English Premier League in 2010, but was sent on loan to Stromsgodset IF where he played alongside current Crew SC forward Ola Kamara until 2012.
Following the 2012 season, Abu was sent on loan to Rayo Vallecano of Spain’s La Liga. Halfway through the 2012-13 campaign, the midfielder was loaned to FC Lorient of France’s Ligue 1.
Before the 2014 season, Abu joined Stromsgodset IF on a full-time basis. He started every regular season match in which he made an appearance, missing only eight games over his time with the club.
In total, the 25-year-old has made 163 professional appearances (154 starts) across all competitions in Spain, France and Norway, scoring five goals and providing three assists.
Abu has also earned three caps for the Ghana National Team, after he made his debut in a 2-0 win against Sudan in an Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier on October 8, 2011. He was called up for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and made two appearances (one start) during the tournament, including in the Third Place Match against Mali.
Per the press release:
According to Major League Soccer's Roster Rules and Regulations, “for one player on a club’s roster (a “Special Discovery Player”), a club is able to amortize the total amount of acquisition costs (up to $500,000) over the term of the player’s contract.” Special Discovery Players must be 27-years-old or younger and there may be no more than one Special Discovery Player per number of clubs in the League. With the acquisition of Abu, Crew SC now has one Special Discovery Player on its roster.
Abu will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa. Abu will occupy an international spot on the Black & Gold roster.