The Columbus Crew SC offseason began with reshaping the back line, but now sporting director and head coachGregg Berhalter and his staff have worked upfield to reshape the midfield.
Just a day after announcing the signing of defensive midfielder Mohammed Abu, the Black & Gold add another central midfielder, Abuchi Obinwa.
The 20-year old Obinwa was born in Columbus and last played for German side Hannover 96 in the Under-19 Bundesliga North/Northeast.
Previous to that, Obinwa played for the Chicago Magic PSG, an affiliate of French side Paris Saint-Germain and was invited to train with the PSG youth academy.
Also in 2017, Obinwa traveled with the International Training Program to take on Real Madrid’s youth academy in December. He was named the 2013 U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s U-15/16 Central Conference Player of the Year.
On the international level, Obinwa, a dual citizen of the United State and Nigeria, has represented the U.S. at youth level alongside new teammate Ben Swanson. The midfielder was named to the U-18 roster for the Lisbon International Tournament in Portugal in 2014 and played in all three group-stage matches.
Obinwa also made two appearances on the U-20 U.S. team that played in the 2015 Stevan Vilotic-Cele Tournament in Serbia.
Along with this signing came news that Crew SC has added 19-year old midfielder Cristian Martinez, who spent must of the 2016 season on loan with the Black & Gold, to the roster full time.
“We are excited to work with Abuchi and Cristian this year as they continue to develop as young players with potential,” Berhalter said. “We look forward to tracking their progress in their first preseason camps with us.”
Columbus is currently taking part in the first stage of preseason in Sao Paulo, Brazil until Feb. 9. Both Obinwa and Martinez are already with the team.
The Black & Gold will train in Columbus from Feb. 13-16 before heading to Charleston, South Carolinia for the 2017 Carolina Challenge Cup.
The 2017 MLS season begins on March 4 when Crew SC host the Chicago Fire at MAPFRE Stadium.