Ray Burse

Crew sign goalkeepers Burse and Riggs

The Columbus Crew announced today that it has signed two goalkeepers in advance of tonight’s CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal match vs. Real Salt Lake. Former Ohio State and FC Dallas goalkeeper Ray Burse has been inked to a short-term, hardship deal, while Missouri State product Alex Riggs has agreed to terms with the Black & Gold for the 2011 season. Per club and league policy, no further terms of the deals were disclosed.

The Crew’s two veteran goalkeepers, William Hesmer (shoulder) and Andy Gruenebaum (hip), are both battling injuries.

One of the top goalkeepers in Ohio State University history, Burse was drafted by FC Dallas in the third round of the 2006 MLS SuperDraft. He made his professional debut in 2007 in the opening match of the SuperLiga against C.D. Guadalajara of Mexico. In 2008 he was loaned to the Portland Timbers of the USL First Division where he appeared in 10 matches before returning to Dallas in 2009. Overall he appeared in 25 matches for FC Dallas (24 starts), recording 97 saves and finishing his tenure in Texas with a 1.50 GAA.

Riggs is a product of Missouri State University, where he was named MVC Defensive Player of the Year in 2009. He appeared in 64 matches for the Bears with a career record of 27-25-10 and 23 shutouts. The 6-4, St. Peters, Mo., native was named All-MVC first team for three consecutive years and earned the 2010 MVC Goalkeeper of the Year award. Riggs was also named MVC Player of the week six times throughout his career at Missouri State.