Columbus Crew SC announced on Wednesday that the club acquired 26-year-old goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell from the San Jose Earthquakes. In exchange for Tarbell, the Black & Gold send $75,000 in General Allocation Money to the Earthquakes.
“Andrew is a talented goalkeeper with proven experience in our League,” Crew President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in the press release. “He is someone who will push our goalkeeping group, as well as help us strengthen our roster. We are excited to welcome Andrew to Columbus Crew SC and look forward to working with him.”
Tarbell was selected by San Jose in the first round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. As a rookie, Tarbell only appeared once for the Earthquakes, coming on as a halftime substitute against the Crew for starter David Bingham and recording one save. Tarbell got his opportunity to start in August of 2017 after performing well in U.S. Open Cup play. In 11 appearances that year, all starts, Tarbell recorded two shutouts and made 40 saves.
In 2018, Tarbell was named the starter in San Jose, appearing 29 times for the Earthquakes. The goalkeeper struggled, however, with just one shutout as part of a defense that allowed 71 goals in 34 MLS matches. Last season, Tarbell served as a backup to the newly acquired Daniel Venga and did not see the field in an MLS match.
Tarbell played collegiately for Clemson from 2012-2015, making 56 appearances, 55 starts. The goalkeeper helped the Tigers reach the final of the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament in 2015. During his time at Clemson, Tarbell was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-America second team (2015), the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament team (2015), the All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team (2015) and the ACC All-Tournament team (2014).
While this move may seem peculiar to Crew fans at first given the team already has three veteran goalkeepers on the roster, Massive Report learned that Matt Lampson, a former Homegrown product who was reacquired this offseason, is dealing with a knee issue. The Black & Gold were concerned about how this would affect Lampson and the team began looking for another option to compete with Jon Kempin as a backup to returning starter Eloy Room.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle, the Earthquakes will pay a portion of Tarbell’s salary. Last season, Tarbell made $235,000, according to the numbers released by the MLS Players’ Union.
The Crew continue preseason play on Wednesday night, taking on the New York Red Bulls in the 2020 Visit Tucson Sun Cup. Columbus defeated hosts Phoenix Rising 1-0 last Saturday night and will face the Houston Dynamo to conclude the preseason tournament on Saturday, Feb. 22 before returning to Central Ohio ahead of the season opening game against New York City FC on Sunday, March 1.