Another day, another Columbus Crew player heading to Austin FC. The MLS expansion side announced Wednesday morning the signing of goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell. Tarbell will remain teammates with former Crew defender Hector Jimenez who signed with Austin Tuesday afternoon.
This will be the MLS Cup champion goalkeeper’s third club of his career after spending one season in Columbus and his first four with the San Jose Earthquakes. The Crew traded $75,000 in General Allocation Money in February for Tarbell to be the primary backup to starter Eloy Room and he got eight chances to start in net for the Black & Gold. Tarbell earned two clean sheets in the regular season and impressed further with playoff shutouts against Nashville SC and the New England Revolution.
The Louisiana native was drafted out of Clemson by the Earthquakes in the first round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. Tarbell slowly made his way into the starting 11 after one sub appearance in 2016 and 11 starts in 2017. In 2018, he became the Quakes' first-choice goalkeeper and played and started 29 games. In those 29 games, he earned one shutout. After having not played for San Jose in 2019, after Daniel Vega stepped in, Tarbell was traded to the Crew where he won an MLS Cup title.
With Austin FC, Tarbell will likely get the chance to be an MLS starter once again. He had to step in for Room last minute for the playoff games against Nashville and the Revs. With shutouts in both games, it was a fresh look at what Tarbell is capable of and Austin will have an MLS veteran in net for their inaugural season.
With Tarbell gone, Columbus is now left officially with four goalkeepers. Room, the new-signing Evan Bush, Matt Lampson and Jon Kempin are the current keepers on the squad. Tuesday afternoon, the Black & Gold selected keeper Eric Dick in stage two of the MLS Re-Entry draft. He is available to sign and could be the fifth goalkeeper on the roster come opening day.
The MLS offseason will continue for the Crew throughout the winter. Thus far, the Black & Gold have officially added Bush and striker Bradley Wright-Phillips to the roster and have seen Tarbell and Jimenez leave for Austin FC. The current roster stands at 23 players with the next major offseason event coming on Jan. 21st in the MLS SuperDraft.
Currently, Columbus owns two picks for the upcoming draft with the final pick of round one and the final pick of round two.
The Crew’s current 2021 roster:
Goalkeepers (4): Evan Bush, Eric Dick [awaiting signing], Jon Kempin, Matt Lampson, Eloy Room
Defenders (8): Harrison Afful, Chris Cadden, Aboubacar Keita, Grant Lillard, Jonathan Mensah, Milton Valenzuela, Josh Williams, Vito Wormgoor
Midfielders (8): Artur, Sebastian Berhalter, Luis Diaz, Derrick Etienne, Jr., Aidan Morris, Darlington Nagbe, Pedro Santos, Lucas Zelarayan
Forwards (3): Miguel Berry, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Gyasi Zardes