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Crew officially add Derrick Etienne to roster

The Black & Gold added the speedy winger with MLS experience

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at FC Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC’s 2020 rebuild continued on Tuesday with another addition to the roster. The Crew signed winger Derrick Etienne Jr., the club officially announced. Etienne, 23, has been with the club throughout this year’s preseason camp.

“Derrick is a fast, young player with MLS experience and after having him in pre-season camp thus far, we are pleased to officially welcome him to Columbus Crew SC,” Crew President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in the club’s press release. “We believe Derrick is someone whose skill set makes him a valuable addition to our squad and who greatly strengthens our team’s attacking corps. We look forward to seeing Derrick’s contributions on the field.”

Etienne is a former New York Red Bulls Academy product who spent the last four years in Major League Soccer. The midfielder signed with the Red Bulls as a Homegrown product ahead of the 2016 season after playing one year at the University of Virginia.

During his three-plus seasons with New York, Etienne appeared 60 times, making 22 starts, while scoring six goals and providing four assists. In 2018, Etienne helped the Red Bulls win the MLS Supporters’ Shield while playing 30 times, starting nine games, with five goals and one assist.

Etienne also appeared 52 times for Red Bulls II in the USL Championship. There he recorded 13 goals and five assists and was a part of the side that won the USL regular season and took home the USL Cup in 2016.

After appearing 11 times for New York with one goal and one assist in 2019, the winger was loaned to FC Cincinnati in early August. Etienne made five appearances for a struggling Cincinnati team, making two starts, including starting and playing 75 minutes in FC Cincy’s 3-1 loss to the Crew in late August.

During his one season with the Cavaliers in 2015, Etienne featured 17 times, scoring two goals and adding one assist. For his efforts, Etienne was named to the ACC’s All-Freshman Team.

Etienne was brought into the Black & Gold preseason camp on trial after he was cut by the Red Bulls following the 2019 season. He featured in all three closed-door scrimmages Columbus has played this preseason, recording two goals.

The winger will provide the Crew with some depth on the wings. Etienne will work in with returning players Pedro Santos, Luis Diaz and Youness Mokhtar, providing the Black & Gold with another speed option on the outside and add more MLS experience to the midfield.

Columbus is approximately halfway through the club’s 2020 preseason. After games against USL II side Ventura County Fusion (5-1 win) and MLS rivals Vancouver Whitecaps (2-2 draw) and the San Jose Earthquakes (4-1 win), the Crew will head to Arizona to play Sporting Kansas City on Feb. 12 in Tucson before beginning the 2020 Visit Tucson Sun Cup on Feb. 15. The Black & Gold begin the 2020 MLS season against New York City FC at MAPFRE Stadium on March 1 at 12:30 p.m. ET.