The Columbus Crew announced a new Homegrown signing on Monday afternoon with the addition of midfielder Isaiah Parente. The Medina, Ohio native is the fourth Homegrown player to be signed by the club in the last three years. He will join former Academy players Sebastian Berhalter, Aidan Morris, Aboubacar Keita and Matt Lampson on the Black & Gold roster.
“We are thrilled that Isaiah has earned a First Team opportunity and are pleased to have Isaiah return home to Ohio,” team president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in the release announcing the signing. “Isaiah’s time at Wake Forest was very successful and we’re thrilled to have yet another Crew SC Academy player join the Crew SC First Team.
“I want to commend the work of Isaiah as well as his Crew SC Academy coaches and staff during his four years in the Academy as this is an important milestone for him. Over the last several years, our Academy has continued to provide a pathway to the professional ranks as we cultivate top youth talent in the state and the region. We look forward to working with Isaiah and see him continue his development.”
The 20-year-old Parente played college soccer for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the ACC and made 50 appearances in the three years he was in Winston-Salem. In 32 starts for the Deacons, he tallied three goals and 19 assists and earned All-ACC third-team honors in 2019.
Parente spent his time with the Crew Academy before enrolling at Wake Forest. From 2015 to 2018, he scored 16 goals from midfield in 65 starts with Columbus’ Under-15/16, U-17/18 and U-18/19 sides over the four years. He was a participant at the inaugural U.S. Soccer Men’s Youth National Team Summit Camp with the U-19 United States National Team in 2018.
Crew Academy products have seen increased productivity over the past few years. Berhalter made four starts last season while Morris made three, including in the MLS Cup Final against the Seattle Sounders. Morris made history in early December, becoming the youngest starter in MLS Cup Final history.
Keita has made 18 starts in his Columbus career and is currently in Florida participating in the US U-23 national team camp as he hopes for a spot in the squad for the Olympic qualifiers in March. Lampson is set to enter his 10th season in MLS and has started 59 games in his career.
The Crew has now signed five new players to the squad as Parente joins Evan Bush, Eric Dick, Kevin Molino and Bradley Wright-Phillips on Caleb Porter’s roster. Parente will be the 10th midfielder on the now 26-man roster for the defending MLS Cup champions.
The Crew’s current 2021 roster:
Goalkeepers (4): Evan Bush, Eric Dick, Matt Lampson, Eloy Room
Defenders (9): Harrison Afful, Chris Cadden, Waylon Francis, Aboubacar Keita, Grant Lillard, Jonathan Mensah, Milton Valenzuela, Josh Williams, Vito Wormgoor
Midfielders (10): Artur, Sebastian Berhalter, Luis Diaz, Derrick Etienne Jr., Aidan Morris, Kevin Molino, Darlington Nagbe, Isaiah Parente, Pedro Santos, Lucas Zelarayan
Forwards (3): Miguel Berry, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Gyasi Zardes