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Crew signs forward Krisztian Nemeth

Nemeth returns to America to play for his third MLS club

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Sporting Kansas City Peter G. Aiken

Columbus Crew SC have added another forward to the roster with the signing of Hungarian striker Krisztian Nemeth. The signing was announced Monday afternoon hours before the European transfer window closes for the fall.

Nemeth, 31, returns to Major League Soccer after a brief stint with Slovakian first division team FC DAC 1904 Dunajska Streda in 2020. Nemeth first played in MLS in 2015 with Sporting Kansas City before signing with Qatari club Al Gharafa. After playing 26 games in the Middle East, Nemeth joined the New England Revolution followed by a return to Kansas City. The Hungarian forward has started 52 MLS games with 20 goals and 11 assists.

In the 2015 and 2016 seasons was when Nemeth had his best run in MLS, helping Sporting win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup while winning the Goal of the Year award for an incredible solo run against the Portland Timbers, who were coached at the time by his new current manager in Columbus, Caleb Porter.

His efforts for Kansas City that season earned him a spot in Hungary’s squad for the 2016 European Championships in France where he played in two group stage matches. Nemeth has made 37 caps in total for the Hungarian national team and scored four goals.

“Krisztian is a seasoned veteran whose international experience will greatly benefit our squad and help increase competition amongst our attacking group,” Crew President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in the press release. “We want to welcome Krisztian to Columbus - a player who is a proven goal scorer and is familiar with our League, we expect him to quickly integrate into our team. We look forward to his contributions to the Club down the stretch this season.”

Columbus will be the 15th club of Nemeth’s career that dates back to 2005 when he signed for MTK Budapest in Hungary at age 15. He scored 14 goals in 37 games for MTK from 2005-2007 before signing with Liverpool. Nemeth never played for the senior team but helped the Liverpool reserves to a Premier Reserve League National title in 2007-08 with nine goals. He went on loan to Blackpool and Greek side AEK Athens while a member of the Reds from 2007-2010.

At the beginning of the decade, Nemeth was signed by AEK Athens rivals Olympiacos where he spent two years playing out on loan for Olympiacos Volos, MTK Budapest and RKC Waalwijk in the Netherlands. After playing 18 games and scoring four goals for Waalwijk, Dutch side Roda JC signed him permanently from Olympiacos to continue playing in the Eredivisie.

Nemeth scored 14 goals for Roda in the Eredivisie from 2012-2014. In 2015, he signed with Sporting Kansas City where he became a principal goalscorer in their U.S. Open Cup title winning campaign. His time in Kansas City was short-lived after signing with Qatari club Al Gharafa in 2016. He scored 13 goals in Qatar and then came back to MLS where he played for the New England Revolution, scoring only once in 21 games.

After his time in Boston, he returned to Kansas City to score nine more goals in 33 games from 2018-2019. In 2020, Nemeth signed for Slovakian topflight contenders FC DAC 1904 Dunajska Streda, where he only played one game.

This addition gives the Crew extra depth at striker behind Gyasi Zardes with Caleb Porter now having two MLS veterans in Nemeth and Fanendo Adi to play that No. 9 role.