Columbus Crew SC today announced that the club has signed Ghanaian international defender Harrison Afful (AH-full) as a Discovery Signing. Afful has spent the past six seasons with Esperance Sportive de Tunis in the Tunisian topflight, the Ligue Professionelle 1. Per club and MLS policy, additional details of the deal were not disclosed. Afful will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
Over his six seasons with Esperance, Afful made a total of 173 appearances across all competitions, scoring 16 goals and adding 25 assists. In the five years spanning the 2009-10 and the 2013-14 seasons, he helped the club win the Ligue 1 title four times, finishing runner-up in 2012-13.
"Harrison is an experienced, versatile defender whose playing style will fit well into our system," said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. "He has established himself in the highly competitive Ghanaian National Team and has participated in both the Africa Cup of Nations and in the World Cup. After an extensive search, we're happy to welcome Harrison to Columbus and we feel that he is going to be a great addition to our defensive corps."
WATCH: Harrison Afful on joining Columbus Crew SC - http://bit.ly/AffulOnSigning
In 2011, he captured African club soccer's biggest crown by winning the CAF Champions League with ES Tunis. In the two-legged final against Wydad Casablanca from Morocco, he scored the lone goal of the series in the 21st minute of the second match, giving the Tunisian club the title and passage into the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan. He made two appearances in that tournament, against Al-Sadd and Monterrey.
WATCH: Harrison Afful's game-winning goal in the 2011 CAF Champions League Final - http://bit.ly/affulCAFCLgoal
Internationally, he has made 53 caps for Ghana, registering five assists in total. The defender made his debut for the Black Stars on February 9, 2008 in that year's Africa Cup of Nations. He has since gone on to appear in 23 Africa Cup of Nations matches, 17 FIFA World Cup qualification matches, 11 international friendlies, and two matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, where he notched an assist in a 2-2 draw against eventual champions Germany in the Group Stage.
Prior to joining ES Tunis, Afful was a product of the Fetteh Feyenoord Academy in Ghana, now called the West African Football Academy. He spent time on-loan with Ghanaian club Asante Kotoko.
Crew SC returns to Major League Soccer regular-season action on Saturday, August 1 with a contest at the Orlando Citrus Bowl against Orlando City SC (7:30 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, CD102.5 FM, La Mega 103.1 FM).
TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew SC signs defender Harrison Afful as a Discovery Signing on July 30, 2015. He will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
Name: Harrison Afful
Born: July 24, 1986 in Tema, Ghana
Hometown: Senya Breku, Ghana
Acquired: Signed by Crew SC on July 30, 2015. He will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
Previous Experience: Esperance Sportive de Tunis (2009-15), Asante Kotoko (2007-09), Feyenoord Academy (2005-09)