Columbus Crew SC today announced that it has loaned defender Kalen Ryden to the Austin Aztex of the USL. The rookie becomes the first Black & Gold player to be loaned to Austin, which was previously announced as Crew SC’s new USL affiliate ahead of the 2015 campaign. Crew SC retains the option to recall Ryden at any point while on loan.
“Our partnership with the Aztex is a strong opportunity for players to gain valuable match experience while continuing to develop,” said Crew SC Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “We are certain Kalen will be in good hands with the coaching staff in Austin, led by Paul Dalglish, as they get their season underway on Saturday.”
Ryden appeared in five contests during Crew SC’s preseason, helping the club keep clean sheets against Austin (February 15), London United (February 18) and the Costa Rica Under-23s (February 21).
In college, the defender made 28 appearances (27 starts) over two seasons at Midwestern State. The Mustangs recorded a shutout in 13 of his starts. Ryden led the school to consecutive NCAA Division II postseason appearances, earning NSCAA All-South Central Region First Team honors in 2014. Previously, he spent two seasons at Oral Roberts University.
Ryden was selected in the Fourth Round (69th overall) of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft on January 20. He signed with Crew SC on March 2.
The Aztex begin the 2015 USL season on March 28 against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. A complete Aztex schedule can be found at AustinAztex.com.
TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew SC loans defender Kalen Ryden to the Austin Aztex (USL) on March 26, 2015. Crew SC retains the option to recall Ryden at any point while on loan.