CHICAGO – Columbus Crew SC today selected forward JJ Williams in the 2019 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, held at McCormick Place in Chicago.
The Black & Gold selected Williams (University of Kentucky) with the 18th overall pick in the First Round. A 2018 MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist, Williams is a member of the 2019 Generation adidas class and will be immediately added to the Black & Gold roster.
Williams, 21, played three seasons at the University of Kentucky, making 57 appearances (30 starts), scoring 24 goals and providing 15 assists from 2016-2018. In 2016, his freshman year, he made 18 appearances (seven starts), scoring three goals and providing three assists. During his sophomore year, Williams made 17 appearances (one start), registering three goals and four assists while being named to the 2017 Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll.
In 2018, Williams’ final season at the University of Kentucky, he made 22 appearances (all starts), tallying 18 goals and eight assists en route to helping the Wildcats post a 17-1-1 overall record while also winning the Conference USA Regular Season and Tournament Titles. For his performance in the 2018 season, Williams also earned the following honors: United Soccer Coaches First Team All-American, USC First Team All-Southeast Region, C-USA Player of the Year, C-USA Offensive Most Valuable Player and C-USA Tournament MVP.
Prior to his time with the University of Kentucky, Williams attended the Alabama Christian Academy, leading the Eagles to a 21-0 record in 2016, scoring 65 goals and tallying 20 assists – an Alabama state record – before being named the 2016 Alabama High School Player of the Year.
The 2019 MLS SuperDraft resumes with the Third and Fourth Rounds, conducted via conference call on Monday, January 14. The Black & Gold currently hold the 18th pick (66th overall) in the Third Round, as well as the 18th pick (90th overall) and the 19th pick (91st overall) in the Fourth Round.
Crew SC’s 2019 MLS Preseason begins on Wednesday, January 23 in Central Ohio after entrance physicals and testing. From there, the club departs to Chula Vista, California for its preseason camp. The Black & Gold are slated to remain in California through February 6 before returning to Columbus. The team will be in Central Ohio from February 7-12 before traveling to Charleston, South Carolina to participate in the 2019 Carolina Challenge Cup.
The Black & Gold begin the 2019 regular season at home and will face the defending Supporters’ Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls, at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 2 at MAPFRE Stadium. 2019 Season Ticket Memberships are now on sale with additional information available via ColumbusCrewSC.com.
TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew SC selects University of Kentucky forward JJ Williams with the 18th overall pick in the First Round of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. Williams is a member of the 2019 Generation adidas class and will be immediately added to the Black & Gold roster.
Name: JJ Williams
Born: January 4, 1998 in Clovis, New Mexico
Hometown: Montgomery, Alabama
Citizenship: United States
Drafted: Selected in the First Round (18th overall) of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft on January 11, 2018
Previous Experience: University of Kentucky (2016-2018)