Columbus Crew SC has found its goalkeeper of the present and the future.
The Black & Gold have signed 30-year old Curacao National Team goalkeeper Eloy Room. The club officially announced the move on Friday and Room will be officially added to the roster once the summer transfer window opens on July 9.
“We are excited to have a player as experienced and proven as Eloy join Columbus Crew SC,” Crew president Tim Bezbatchenko said. “Eloy is a talented goalkeeper whose leadership and shot-stopping ability will help strengthen our Club. We believe Eloy’s background competing at the European and international level will allow him to contribute to Crew SC immediately.”
Room was out of contract after most recently playing for PSV Eindhoven of the Dutch topflight from 2017-19 and was a part of the 2017-18 Eredivisie championship side that qualified for the UEFA Champions League. Prior to joining PSV, Room played for SBV Vitesse of the Eredivisie from 2008-17 and spent the 2013-14 season on loan with the Go Ahead Eagles in Holland.
In total, Room made 169 appearances, 159 starts in the Dutch First Division. He started 20 games in the KNVB Cup and played twice in the UEFA Europa League Qualifiers. The goalkeeper was an important member of the KNVB Cup winners in the 2016-17 season with Vitesse. During the run to the title, Room played in every match, helping Vitesse win its first KNVB Cup in 125 years.
If Room’s name sounds familiar, it could be due to his performance in the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Room started all four matches of the tournament for Curacao, including the 1-0 loss to the United States in the quarterfinals. The goalkeeper made 26 saves in his country’s surprising four-game run. Overall, Room has earned 30 caps for the Curacao National Team, including nine shutouts. He also featured internationally for the Netherlands at the Under-20 level.
Room’s addition to the Crew roster will be a welcomed one. The Black & Gold relied on the services of U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Zack Steffen for the last two and a half years. Steffen was sold to Manchester City of the English Premier League in the offseason for a record fee after winning the 2018 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award. Steffen made his final appearance for Columbus in 2-2 draw with New York City FC on June 1.
Since Steffen’s departure, the Crew has a 1-4 record in all competitions, while conceding seven goals. Room will compete with Jon Kempin — who started both U.S. Open Cup matches and the first two MLS games following Steffen’s departure — and Joe Bendik, who was in net for the Black & Gold the first time since May 11 in the 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on Wednesday.
Room is the third addition to the roster already this summer. The Crew acquired forward Romario Williams from Atlanta United on July 1 and announced the signing of Costa Rican winger Luis Diaz the following day.