COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC today announced that it has signed free agent midfielder Ricardo Clark. Clark, 34, most recently played for the Houston Dynamo, where he won two MLS Cups (2006, 2007). The two-time MLS All-Star has played 337 regular-season matches (317 starts) in MLS and brings 15 years of professional experience to the club. Clark has also played at the international level, earning 33 caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team, including playing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2007 Copa America and winning the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“We are excited Ricardo chose to join our club as a free agent signing this winter,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “Ricardo brings over a decade of MLS and National Team experience to our club, which was one of the youngest in the League last season. He is a consistent winner in MLS and adds important depth in our central midfield as we look to return to the MLS Cup Playoffs in the upcoming season.”
Clark was drafted by the New York MetroStars with the second overall pick in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft. The midfielder went on to make 54 regular-season appearances (44 starts) for the MetroStars from 2003-2004, scoring four goals and providing two assists. Clark then joined the San Jose Earthquakes in 2005, where he went on to make 30 regular-season appearances (28 starts) that year. From 2006-2009, Clark made 97 regular-season appearances (96 starts) during his first stint with the Houston Dynamo, playing a big role in the Dynamo’s back-to-back MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007. He was also named to the MLS All-Star roster in 2006 and 2007 while earning an MLS Best XI nod in 2006.
READ: Q&A | Ricardo Clark discusses joining Crew SC
The Atlanta native signed with Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany’s First Division in 2009, where he went on to make 16 appearances (13 starts) between 2009 and 2012. Clark spent the first part of the 2012 season on loan with Stabaek of Norway’s topflight, where he made 17 appearances (all starts) and scored one goal. The midfielder returned to the Houston Dynamo in 2012, helping the club reach the MLS Cup that year. Clark made 156 regular-season appearances (146 starts) during his second stint with Houston, registering 21 goals and 15 assists while being named the Houston Dynamo Players' Player of the Year in 2013 and 2015. He was also voted the club’s Most Valuable Player in 2015, following a season in which he scored a career-high eight goals.
At the international level, Clark has earned 33 caps and won the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup with the U.S. Men’s National Team. The midfielder made his debut for the U.S. as a substitute in a World Cup Qualifier against Panama on October 12, 2005. Clark has also participated in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2007 Copa America.
Under Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter, the club is currently training in Casa Grande, Arizona for its preseason camp until February 6. From there, Crew SC will be in Hawaii for the inaugural Pacific Rim Cup from February 6-11. During the window of February 15-25, the club will be in Charleston, South Carolina to participate in the 2018 Carolina Challenge Cup.
With the addition of Ricardo Clark, Crew SC's current 2018 roster – listed alphabetically below – now stands at 25 players:
Goalkeepers (3): Jon Kempin, Logan Ketterer, Zack Steffen
Defenders (8): Lalas Abubakar, Harrison Afful, Alex Crognale, Connor Maloney, Jonathan Mensah, Gaston Sauro, Milton Valenzuela, Josh Williams
Midfielders (11): Mohammed Abu, Artur, Ricardo Clark, Niko Hansen, Federico Higuain, Mike Grella, Hector Jimenez, Cristian Martinez, Pedro Santos, Eduardo Sosa, Wil Trapp
Forwards (3): Adam Jahn, Edward Opoku, Gyasi Zardes
TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew SC signs free agent midfielder Ricardo Clark on February 2, 2018.
Name: Ricardo Clark
Born: February 10, 1983 in Atlanta, Georgia
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Signed as a free agent by Crew SC on February 2, 2018
Previous Experience: Houston Dynamo (2012-2017), Stabaek (2012), Eintracht Frankfurt (2009-2012), Houston Dynamo (2006-2009), San Jose Earthquakes (2005), New York MetroStars (2003-2004)