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Columbus Crew SC officially sign Josh Williams

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The Black & Gold bring back the Ohio-born defender.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Toronto FC Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Williams is coming back to the Columbus Crew SC.

The veteran defender signed with Columbus Thursday after being selected in Stage Two of the 2016 MLS Re-Entry Draft.

“We are pleased to welcome Josh back to Columbus Crew SC,” sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter said in a statement released by the club. “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.”

Williams previously played for Columbus for five seasons between 2010 and 2014, where he made 76 regular season appearances with 68 coming in the starting XI.

Williams was traded to New York City FC in 2014 for allocation funds, where he played five games before being waved. He was picked up off of waivers by Toronto FC just a few days later.

The signing of Williams adds depth to the Columbus backline that saw the departure of captain Michael Parkhurst, retirement of backup Tyson Wahl and the announcement that Gaston Sauro will miss the entire 2017 season due to knee problems.

Williams initially played center back for Columbus before moving outside to both the right and left back spots. He played center back again in Toronto’s 3-man backline during his stint there.

The Coply, Ohio native has scored four goals in his MLS career, all coming while a member of Columbus.