Columbus Crew SC announced two additions on Thursday afternoon, one on either side of the field. The Black & Gold re-signed forward Jordan Hamilton and brought back goalkeeper Matt Lampson.
“In putting together our roster for next season, it is important that we continue to have competition at each and every position,” Crew President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko said. “Both Jordan and Matt’s MLS experience make our roster stronger and we’re confident there will be battles for valuable playing time in their respective positions. We are glad to have both players back in our community and we look forward to their contributions in the 2020 campaign.”
Both of these names should be familiar to Crew fans after featuring for the club in the past.
Hamilton was with Columbus for the second half of 2019 after he was traded from Toronto FC on July 11. The Toronto native and Academy product played for TFC from 2014-19, making 53 appearances with 28 starts, scoring 11 goals and registering three assists. After joining the Black & Gold, it took time for Hamilton to receive his work visa. Once he was cleared to play, the forward featured in four games off the bench but failed to score or register an assist.
After competing with fellow forward Romario Williams for the backup role to starter Gyasi Zardes last year, Hamilton will now compete with second-year player JJ Williams for that role, as Williams was not retained by the club. With a full offseason with the team, Hamilton should be better equipped to help the Crew attack in 2019.
Lampson, a Columbus native, was a Crew Academy product who played for the Black & Gold from 2012-15. He made 16 appearances for the Crew in his four seasons, starting 14 times and recording five shutouts. Since his departure from the club, the goalkeeper has played for the Chicago Fire (2016-17), Minnessota United (2018) and the LA Galaxy last season. His most successful year came in 2017 when he played and started 24 games for the Fire the five with eight shutouts.
In total, Lampson has made 61 appearances (59 starts) in the MLS regular season, recording 16 shutouts. The goalkeeper is the League’s only three-time recipient of the MLS Humanitarian of the Year Award (2016, 2018, 2019).
The Crew retained the services of goalkeeper Jon Kempin this offseason after he was the primary goalkeeper for Zack Steffen and Eloy Room for the better part of the last two years. Last season, the Black & Gold also had veteran Joe Bendik on the roster for most of the season. Lampson will compete with Kempin for that reserve role to Room in 2019.
Columbus will open the 2020 MLS season on March 1, welcoming New York City FC to MAPFRE Stadium. The full 2020 preseason and regular season schedule is expected out in the near future.