The Columbus Crew used its second-round 2021 MLS SuperDraft selection on a player from just around the corner in Columbus. With the 54th overall pick in the SuperDraft, the MLS Cup champions selected defender Joshua Jackson-Ketchup from the Ohio State’s men’s soccer team.
Ketchup, a Miami, Florida native, played high school soccer at Montverde Academy in Florida and was teammates in high school with the Crew’s first-round draft selection Justin Malou. He won the team’s Most Valuable Player award in his senior season in 2017 and was selected to the All-American watch list the same year. After his time in his home state, Jackson-Ketchup headed to Columbus and became a Buckeye.
At Ohio State, Ketchup played all three seasons with the team from 2017-2019. He was unable to play in his senior year after the Big Ten canceled fall sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a freshman, Jackson-Ketchup started 14 games as an attacking midfielder and scored three goals and provided two assists in his collegiate debut season. He started all 17 matches as a sophomore, scoring once and assisting once on 23 shots.
Ketchup started all 19 games for Ohio State in his junior and final college season as he began to shift from an attacking midfielder to a fullback. He was a three-time OSU Scholar Athlete and was once named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week in 2017.
Despite no Big Ten play this past fall, the Crew has been able to see Ketchup in action many times before. He trained before with the Black & Gold senior squad while being in Columbus for the past four years as an Ohio State player. Crew Technical Director and Vice President of Soccer Operations Pat Onstad sees him as “kind of an attacking right back” after he played in the attacking midfield role early on at Ohio State.
The Crew made two picks in the MLS SuperDraft Thursday afternoon and both are capable of playing right back. The position currently is lacking depth with the lone right back option on the Columbus roster is veteran Harrison Afful, who is approaching the end of his career at 34 years old. Jackson-Ketchup adds more depth to the roster in that position and would likely be low on the depth chart as a second-round draft pick.
Columbus also had a third-round pick but elected to pass on the selection. With the SuperDraft in the books, the Crew now awaits for the release of the 2021 regular season schedule as well as more information on the start of the preseason.