While the Columbus Crew season is well underway, the Crew 2 roster is still taking shape before the team begins its inaugural season in the new MLS NEXT Pro development league. Thursday, the Black & Gold added two familiar names to their roster.
Center backs Jacob Erlandson and Philip Quinton are the two latest additions to Crew 2. Both signed professional contracts with the new development team.
Both center backs were taken in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft by the Crew. Quinton joins Crew 2 after spending his four college years with at Notre Dame. In Quinton’s senior season, he wore the captain’s armband and excelled on the field, earning the 2021 Atlantic Coast Conference All-Tournament Team accolades and was an All-ACC third team honoree.
Although Quinton grew up in Portland, Oregon, he was born in Columbus, Ohio. The 6-foot-6 defender has strength and speed in defense and adds to the offense too. In 58 collegiate matches, Quinton scored twice and registered two assists.
The Black & Gold traded up to pick Quinton at the end of the first round, after selecting goalkeeper Patrick Schulte with the No. 12 pick overall. To select Quinton in the draft, Columbus traded $25,000 in General Allocation Money to Real Salt Lake.
Erlandson is a 6-foot-1 defender who finished his college career at Bowling Green and was taken in the second round of the SuperDraft. In 32 appearances with the Falcons, Erlandson scored nine goals and six assists. The Mid-American Conference named Erlandson to its All-MAC first team and 2021 Newcomer of the Year.
Although he made an impact in Division I, Erlandson didn’t start his college soccer at the top level. Erlandson started with Huntington University, in Huntington, Indiana. The school is part of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes). Like Erlandson’s success at Bowling Green, he performed at a high level with Huntington.
Before transferring to the Falcons, Erlandson led Huntington to 10 clean sheets on his way to being named an NAIA All-American in his junior season. Columbus chose Erlandson in the second round, with the No. 40 overall pick.
Both Quinton and Erlandson spent the preseason with the Crew first team. Supporters may not know it, but they may have already seen a highlight of Erlandson with the team. At the eight-second mark of the below video tweeted out by the Black & Gold, Erlandson scored a diving header in practice. It’s a quick clip, but the goal caused supporters across Crew Twitter to ask about the identity of the flying goal scorer.
That was Erlandson showing off his offensive skill. With the addition of Crew 2, Columbus now has the chance to see if that skill can grow into a spot on the senior team.
Crew 2 begins the team’s inaugural season on March 26 against Inter Miami CF II at DRV PNK Stadium. The match will be streamed live on mlsnextpro.com.