COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC today announced five roster transactions ahead of Crew SC’s Opening Match, presented by MAPFRE Insurance, today against the Chicago Fire at MAPFRE Stadium (2 p.m. ET / ABC-6, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2. CD102.5 FM, La Mega 103.1 FM). Four players are set to go on loan on a game-by-game basis for the 2017 Major League Soccer Season as midfielders Marshall Hollingsworth, Cristian Martinez and Ben Swanson have been loaned to Crew SC’s United Soccer League (USL) affiliate Pittsburgh Riverhounds, while midfielder Rodrigo Saravia has been loaned to IK Frej of Sweden’s Second Division. Crew SC also officially announced today that it has placed defender Gaston Sauro on the Season-Ending Injury List.
Per the Right of Recall incorporated in the loan agreements, Crew SC retains the right to recall all four players on loan at any point during the MLS regular season, subject to MLS roster compliance guidelines. Per Major League Soccer's roster rules and regulations, Sauro will not be eligible to play for Crew SC in any competition during the 2017 MLS season, opening a slot on the Black & Gold's active roster.
Hollingsworth, 23, officially signed with Crew SC on March 4, 2016 after being drafted by the Black & Gold in the Second Round (41st overall) of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. Before being selected by Crew SC, he participated in the club's College Combine at MAPFRE Stadium. Hollingsworth made his professional debut with a start for the Riverhounds on April 2, 2016 in a match against Rochester.
Saravia, 23, joins Swedish side IK Frej on a game-by-game loan basis. The Guatemalan midfielder was selected by Crew SC in the First Round (19th overall) of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft on January 14, 2016. He signed with the Black & Gold on February 4, 2016 and has made 10 appearances (one start) with Crew SC to date. At the international level, Saravia has earned six caps with the Guatemala National Team.
Martinez, 20, made five appearances (two starts) and scored one goal in his rookie season for Crew SC. The midfielder earned his first two caps for the senior Panama National Team in 2016 and was acquired by Crew SC on a permanent transfer on January 25, 2017. In February, Martinez received an international call-up from the Panama Under-20 National Team and Head Coach Leonardo Pipino to represent Panama at the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
Swanson, 19, who became Crew SC's ninth-ever Homegrown Player when he signed his first professional contract with the team on October 16, 2014, made five appearances (one start) for Crew SC in 2016 and played with the Riverhounds in 2016.
Sauro, 26, signed with the Black & Gold on August 6, 2015 and was a pivotal part of Crew SC’s Eastern Conference Championship side in 2015. To date, the Argentine defender has made 17 regular-season appearances (16 starts) for Crew SC. Prior to joining Crew SC, Sauro had stints with Boca Juniors of Argentina’s First Division, FC Basel of the Swiss Super League, and Calcio Catania of Italy’s Serie A.
Today’s contest kicks-off at 2 p.m. ET and is set to be televised regionally on ABC-6, Spectrum Sports and BCSN2, with Neil Sika, Dwight Burgess and Clay Hall on the call. Coverage on ABC-6 begins at 2:00 p.m. ET. Exclusively on Spectrum Sports and BCSN2, "Crew SC Matchday," the pre-match show, begins at 1:30 p.m. ET, with "Crew SC Post-Match" immediately following the action. The match also airs locally on the radio on CD102.5 FM in English, featuring simulcast audio from the television broadcast. La Mega 103.1 FM has the match airing in Spanish, with Juan Valladares behind the microphone. The Spanish radio call is also set to be streamed in Spanish on the LaMega1 App and via Tunein Radio as WVKO-FM. The club’s official website, ColumbusCrewSC.com, is set to stream the English-language radio broadcast online.
Columbus Crew SC places defender Gaston Sauro on Season-Ending Injury List on March 4, 2017; Columbus Crew SC loans midfielder Rodrigo Saravia to IK Frej (Sweden) on a game-by-game basis on March 4, 2017; Columbus Crew SC loans midfielders Marshall Hollingsworth, Cristian Martinez, and Ben Swanson to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL) on a game-by-game basis on March 4, 2017.