It happened again. Columbus Crew SC once again had a player selected in the 2019 Major League Soccer Expansion Draft. This time it was midfielder Luis Argudo. Argudo was taken in the fourth round by Inter Miami. The Black & Gold receive $50,000 in General Allocation Money due to Argudo’s selection.
Arugdo is the 17th Crew player selected in the MLS Expansion Draft which began with the additions of the Chicago Fire and Miami Fusion in 1997. Since that time, the Black & Gold has lost players such as Ned Grabavoy to the San Jose Earthquakes, Brad Evans to the Seattle Sounders, Jairo Arrieta to Orlando City SC and Mohammed Saeid to Minnesota United, among others.
The Crew selected Argudo in the third round, 67th overall, of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft out of Wake Forest. As a rookie, Argudo made 18 appearances, six starts, under then head coach Gregg Berhalter with no goals or assists.
Argudo had a breakout season in 2019 under first-year head coach Caleb Porter. Due to a rash of injuries, Argudo worked his way into the Black & Gold’s 18-man gameday roster in late spring and began to make appearances off the bench for Columbus. His performances in practice earned Argudo more playing time and he won his first start of the year on June 29 against Orlando City SC.
The midfielder made seven consecutive appearances in the Crew’s starting 11 from July 6 to Aug. 10, registering his first career assist in a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire on July 17 and his first MLS goal in a 3-2 win against the New York Red Bulls — a match in which he also provided a helper — 10 days later.
With Argudo departing, the Black & Gold lose a versatile midfielder who was just starting to find his feet in MLS. His work rate and feisty playing style were traits Porter admired in the 23 year old and something he will take with him to Miami. With the expansion side, Argudo can continue to grow as a professional and potentially earn more playing time than he would have had in Columbus next season.
While the Crew would have preferred to not lose a player in the Expansion Draft, the Black & Gold will be happy to retain some of the team’s other unprotected players. Midfielder/defender Hector Jimenez was thought to be a possible Expansion Draft pick by either Miami or Nashville SC given his 168 career MLS games and the ability to play a variety of positions. Defender Josh Williams was in a similar boat. The Copley, Ohio native is a veteran of 162 career MLS games and can play center back or either outside back spots.
2020 Columbus Crew SC roster:
Goalkeepers (2): Jon Kempin, Eloy Room
Defenders (9): Lalas Abubakar, Harrison Afful, Chris Cadden, Waylon Francis, Hector Jimenez, Aboubacar Keita, Jonathan Mensah, Milton Valenzuela, Josh Williams
Midfielders (6): Artur, Luis Diaz, Youness Mokhtar, Darlington Nagbe, Pedro Santos, Wil Trapp
Forwards (2): JJ Williams, Gyasi Zardes
2019 MLS Expansion Draft recap:
Inter Miami: 1. Ben Sweat 2. Alvas Powell 3. Lee Nguyen 4. Luis Argudo 5. Brian Meredith
Nashville SC: 1. Abu Danladi 2. Zarek Valentin 3. Jalil Anibaba 4. Brandon Vasquez 5. Jimmy Medranda