The Columbus Crew announced the signing of 21-year-old Crew Academy product Sean Zawadzki to a Homegrown Player contract on Thursday. Columbus signed the young defensive midfielder through the 2023 season with club options through 2025.
Zawadzki comes from the top team in the Big East Conference. Georgetown won both the Big East regular season crown as well as the conference tournament during his career. Zawadzki was key to their success.
In 2019, Zawadzki played every minute of the Hoyas NCAA College Cup victory against the University of Virginia. From there, Zawadzki captained Georgetown for his final two collegiate seasons, leading the Hoyas to the 2020 and 2021 Big East regular season championship and the 2021 Big East Tournament championship.
The Olmstead Falls, Ohio native started all 22 matches in 2021 for the Hoyas and received postseason accolades for his on-field work. The defensive midfielder was named to a first-team All-America, first-team All-Big East and named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year that season.
Prior to his years at Georgetown, Zawadzki was part of the Crew Academy from 2015-2018. That makes Zawadzki the fourth Crew Academy name on the Black & Gold roster. He joins midfielders Aidan Morris, Sebastian Berhalter and Isaiah Parente, a fact that the front office can hang their hat on.
“We are proud to welcome yet another Crew Academy player to the first team,” Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement announcing the signing. “From serving as a two-year captain for the Academy to being named Georgetown’s captain in his junior year, Sean is someone who embodied the values of the Crew. He is a proven winner and a talented player, and we are thrilled to have Sean remain a part of the Crew family as he continues his development as a professional.”
Zawadski will join the Black & Gold for preseason beginning on Jan. 16. Columbus’ central midfield is one of the more congested positions on the roster with midfielders Darlington Nagbe, Artur, Marlon Hairston, Parente and Berhalter returning from a year ago. In addition, Morris is slated to return in 2022 after tearing his ACL on April 15. With all of these players searching for time in two spots, Zawadski could see time with the in MLS Next Pro as part of the newly-created Crew 2.
Zawadzki joins four other players fresh out of college after Tuesdays’ MLS SuperDraft selections. Columbus isn’t done yet either. With positions needing to be filled, the Crew will continue to add players throughout the preseason and up until the 2022 campaign begins in late-February.
Last Thursday, Steven Goff of the Washington Post reported the potential signing. There’s been no confirmation from the Crew on obtaining the rights to Zawadzki’s Georgetown teammate, Will Sands.
The Black & Gold begin their 2022 preseason on Sunday, Jan. 16 with two days of player performance testing at the OhioHealth Performance Center. The Crew will train in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Charleston, South Carolina and at home before the season opener at Lower.Com Field on Feb. 26.
Columbus Crew’s 2022 roster
Goalkeepers: Evan Bush, Eloy Room, Patrick Schulte
Defenders: Jonathan Mensah, Steven Moreira, Josh Williams
Midfielders: Artur, Sebastian Berhalter, Luis Diaz, Derrick Etienne Jr., Marlon Hairston, Perry Kitchen, Alex Matan, Kevin Molino, Aidan Morris, Darlington Nagbe, Isaiah Parente, Pedro Santos, Yaw Yeboah, Sean Zawadzki, Lucas Zelarayan
Forwards: Miguel Berry, Gyasi Zardes