COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew SC today announced that it has signed defender Harrison Afful to a contract extension. Afful joined Crew SC halfway through the 2015 season and has made 117 regular-season appearances since joining the Club. The defender has also earned 78 caps for the Ghana National Team, including playing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“We are glad to have reached an agreement with Harrison which allows him to remain with Crew SC,” said Crew SC President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Harrison has emerged as one of the Crew’s veteran voices since joining the Club and his contributions as a leader are vital to the success of our team. I also want to thank our Technical Director Pat Onstad for his efforts to get this over the line.”
Afful joined Crew SC on July 30, 2015 and made his debut as a starter in a regular-season home match against New York City FC (August 19). The defender made nine regular-season appearances (all starts) and registered two assists that season while helping the Black & Gold win the 2015 MLS Eastern Conference Championship, as well as reach MLS Cup. The following year, Afful made 30 appearances (all starts) in regular-season action, scoring three goals and providing three helpers en route to being named the Crew’s Defender of the Year.
The Ghanaian defender made 24 regular-season appearances (21 starts) and tallied one assist in 2017, while also scoring one goal during the MLS Cup Playoffs to help Crew SC reach the Eastern Conference Championship. In 2018, Afful scored two goals and recorded an MLS career-best six assists through 32 regular-season appearances (all starts). This season, he made 22 regular-season appearances (all starts) and provided two helpers.
To date, Afful has made 117 appearances (114 starts) in regular-season action, scoring five goals and providing 14 assists. Per Opta, since he joined MLS, no other player in the League has attempted more crosses from open play than he has (423). Additionally, Afful has provided more assists (14) than any other Crew SC defender over than same span.
At the international level, Afful has earned 78 caps for the Ghana National Team since making his debut as a starter in a 2008 Africa Cup of Nations match against Ivory Coast (February 9). The defender has represented the Black Stars at one FIFA World Cup (2014) and five editions of the Africa Cup of Nations (2008, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2017).
With Afful’s contract extension, Crew SC's current 2020 roster – listed alphabetically below – now stands at 19 players:
Goalkeepers (2): Jon Kempin, Eloy Room
Defenders (9): Lalas Abubakar, Harrison Afful, Chris Cadden, Waylon Francis, Hector Jimenez, Aboubacar Keita, Jonathan Mensah, Milton Valenzuela, Josh Williams
Midfielders (6): Luis Argudo, Artur, Luis Diaz, Youness Mokhtar, Pedro Santos, Wil Trapp
Forwards (2): JJ Williams, Gyasi Zardes
TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew SC signs defender Harrison Afful to a contract extension on October 30, 2019.