The Columbus Crew announced a trio of new additions on Friday, all of which signed MLS Next Pro contracts and will play for Crew 2. The Black & Gold acquired midfielder Marco Micaletto from South Georgia Tormenta FC of USL League One, as well as signing defender Abdi Mohammed and Justin Malou. This is the next step as the team continues to strengthen its squad for the inaugural season in MLS NEXT Pro league, which kicks off in a few short weeks.
Micaletto, an Italian playmaker, comes to Columbus via a transfer with South Georgia Tormenta FC where he made 85 appearances between 2018-21. In that time Micaletto scored 26 goals and registered seven assists for the Ibis, becoming Tormenta’s all-time leading goal scorer.
A move to Crew 2 isn’t Micaletto’s first soccer stop in the Buckeye state. The Italian played for the University of Akron in 2018, appearing 24 times for the Zips and helping the team reach the 2018 NCAA College Cup Final.
Speaking of returning to Ohio, and specifically Columbus, Abdi Mohammed comes back to Central Ohio with this move from Greenville Triumph FC in USL League One. The Westerville, Ohio native spent the 2020-21 seasons with Triumph FC as a defender, after spending his collegiate days at Ohio State from 2016-17 before transferring to Akron in 2018 where, alongside new Crew 2 teammate Marco Micaletto, he was a part of the Zips team that made it to the College Cup Final.
In addition to his playing career in college and professionally, Mohammed has earned one cap with the Somali National Team, appearing in the nation’s World Cup qualifier match in September of 2019 against Zimbabwe.
Rounding out the trio is Malou, a defender from Clemson who was selected the Crew first team in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft with the 27th overall pick. The defender elected, however, to return to school, after the strange collegiate COVID season, for the entire 2021 season and found his way to the Black & Gold as an inaugural member of their MLS NEXT Pro side.
After announcing the team’s first-ever signing, midfielder Aidan Wolf, on Feb. 10, Crew 2 made four more signings eight days later, adding midfielders Isaac Angking, Jay Tee Kamara and Michael Vang and forward Noah Fuson. Micaletto, Mohammed and Malou now add to the team’s grown roster.
Crew 2 will start the team’s season on the road in Fort Lauderdale against Inter Miami II on Saturday, March 26. The first home game for Crew 2 at historic Crew Stadium is on Friday, April 15 at 7 p.m. ET as they face off against Orlando City B.