Welcome back to Ohio, Evan Bush. The veteran goalkeeper is returning to his home state to play for the Columbus Crew.
The Crew completed a trade with the Vancouver Whitecaps to bring Bush, 32, back to Ohio. The Whitecaps will receive $125,000 in General Allocation Money in exchange for Bush as part of Major League Soccer’s half-day trade window on Sunday. Vancouver, along with Bush’s former club, the Montreal Impact, will retain part of the goalkeeper’s salary budget charge.
“We are pleased to welcome Evan to Columbus,” Crew President & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in the press release announcing the trade. “Evan is a talented goalkeeper whose significant experience in MLS will be a great addition to our team. We look forward to integrating him into the team and seeing him push our goalkeeping corps as we prepare for the 2021 season.”
Fresh off the team’s second MLS Cup title, won on Saturday night in a 3-0 victory against the Seattle Sounders at MAPFRE Stadium, the Black & Gold knew the team could not rest on its laurels and had to continue to get better. With the prospects of MLS regular season play, the return of the U.S. Open Cup and the CONCACAF Champions League, which the team qualified for by winning MLS Cup, Columbus not only needs to continue to improve the roster but add depth to compete for titles in three separate competitions.
Bush and his nine years of experience in MLS brings that to the Crew and adds more competition in a goalkeeper spot that already has plenty. Eloy Room is the presumed returning starter in 2021 after helping to lead one of MLS’s best defenses this year. Backup Andrew Tarbell will fight for the No. 2 spot once again after appearing nine times for the Black & Gold this year, including two games in the MLS Cup playoffs. It is unclear the status of Matt Lampson and Jon Kempin heading into the new season after neither played for the club in 2020.
In his career, Bush has played for a number of different clubs at various levels. After playing at the University of Akron from 2005-08, Bush spent time in the USL and NASL. His first MLS experience came as a member of the expansion side Impact in 2011.
Bush remained with the Impact until 2020 176 MLS regular season appearances, while recording 40 shutouts. In September, he was traded to the Whitecaps in exchange for a third-round MLS SuperDraft pick and made eight appearances to close out the year.
From his time in Montreal, Bush earned Champions League experience, making 13 appearances in the club tournament and recording five shutouts. He was a part of the Montreal side that reached the final in 2015, earning the tournament’s Golden Glove for his play.
The Crew is expected to announce its season-ending roster moves later in the day on Monday.