It’s a new season, which means new numbers. The Columbus Crew released the team’s 2021 preseason roster complete with the numbers players currently on the team will wear this year. A few numbers have been taken by newcomers, but for the most part, all remains the same for the defending MLS Cup champions.
To begin with, newly signed midfielder Perry Kitchen took the No. 2 jersey, recently worn by Scottish fullback Chris Cadden who saw little time with the Black & Gold in 2020. Kitchen also wore the number during his time with the Los Angeles Galaxy after wearing No. 23 with D.C. United.
Kevin Molino who the Crew also signed as a free agent from Minnesota United picked the No. 9 jersey. Striker Fanendo Adi wore the jersey last year for Columbus. Molino wore No. 7 for the Loons, but that jersey is currently occupied by Pedro Santos in Columbus. You don’t have to go back far to find another Black & Gold winger in No. 9, as Justin Meram donned the number for the Crew from 2011-17.
Goalkeeper Eric Dick grabbed the No. 13 jersey, which was worn by Andrew Tarbell last year. A recent owner of the jersey was Ethan Finlay, who now plays for the Loons. Brian Dunseth, who donned the jersey from 2001-2003, and Ancil Elcock, who played for the Crew from 1997-2001.
Rookie Homegrown midfielder Isaiah Parente snagged the No. 16. For the last seven seasons, this was worn by Hector Jimenez for the Black & Gold. Eric Gehrig, Brian Carroll and Kei Kamara are among others to wear the No. 16 in Columbus.
Newly minted fullback Marlon Hairston will wear No. 17. Jordan Hamilton wore the kit last season, which he took from Romario Williams back in 2018. However, there’s one name that Crew fans might forget that wore No. 17, Olman Vargas. Others who wore the No. 17 were Emmanuel Ekpo, Daniel Szetela, Kevin Burns and Brian West.
Newcomer Alexandru Matan took on famous digits for the Crew by accepting the No. 20. Former winger Emmanuel Boateng was the last seen in the top. The most famous names to wear No. 20 for Columbus were former club captain Wil Trapp and legend Brian McBride.
John Debrito first wore the No. 24 for the club back in the 2000-2001 season. Since then, the likes of Jeff Matteo, Matt Jordan, Jed Zayner, Ben Sippola, Augustin Viana, Sergio Campbell, Nicolai Naess and Jon Kempin who all have worn the No. 24. Evan Bush — the Cleveland, Ohio native — is now the owner of the jersey for the upcoming season.
New striker Bradley Wright-Phillips becomes the third player in club history to wear No. 99. Two other forwards donned the number during their tenure. Most notably Dante Washington wore the number during his third and final stint with the Crew from 2004-05. Ryan Coiner made three appearances wearing the notable number in 2006. Wright-Phillips, MLS’s sixth all-time leading scorer, also wore No. 99 with the New York Red Bulls but wore No. 66 last year with LAFC.
All other numbers from last season are currently listed as the same.
In addition to the current Crew roster, the Black & Gold have six Academy players with the team in preseason. These include defenders Noah Hall, TJ Presthus, Anthony Samways and Levi Stephens, midfielder Elton Chifamba and forward Sam Sarver.
2021 Columbus Crew preseason roster
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