COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC today announced that the club has acquired Romanian midfielder Alexandru Matan (pronounced: ah-LEK-san-DREW mah-TON) from FC Viitorul Constanta of Romanian’s First Division. Matan, 21, has made 56 appearances in Romania’s Liga 1 and helped Viitorul Constanta win the 2018-2019 Cupa Romaniei– Romania’s domestic cup. Matan will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa and will occupy an international roster slot on the Crew’s roster.
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“Alex is a promising young player whose technical ability, dribbling skills and ability to play on both sides of the ball make him a good fit for our style of play,” said Crew SC President & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “As someone who is a creative player capable of playing wide or centrally, he gives us another dynamic attacking option which will be critical with a busy schedule across Champions League and MLS action in the coming months. We are excited to welcome him and look forward to incorporating him into our group.”
A product of the Gheorghe Hagi Academy, Matan played for Romanian topflight side FC Viitorul Constanta from 2016-2021. In all, he made 66 appearances (45 starts) while registering five goals and 12 assists across all competitions, including playing in six UEFA Europa League Qualifiers. Notably, the midfielder made three appearances in the 2018-2019 Cupa Romaniei, scoring one goal and providing two helpers en route to helping Viitorul Constanta win the 2018-2019 edition of the tournament.
The 21-year-old spent the 2019-2020 season on loan with FC Voluntari – also of Romania’s First Division – where he made 26 appearances (21 starts) while netting one goal and notching two assists across all competitions.
Matan has also represented Romania internationally at the youth level. The midfielder has earned a total of 17 caps and scored 10 goals for Romania across the Under-17, U-18, U-19 and U-21 levels.
The Black & Gold are currently in Chula Vista, California for the 2021 preseason before traveling to Orlando, Florida on March 21. Following the training camp in Orlando, the Crew opens the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League on the road on April 8 against Nicaraguan side Real Esteli FC in the First Leg of the Round of 16, before hosting Real Esteli at home for the Second Leg on April 15. The Black & Gold are set to kick-off the 2021 MLS regular season in April with the League’s campaign beginning April 17. A complete MLS schedule is set to be announced by MLS in the near future as the Club prepares to move into New Crew Stadium this July.
Supporters interested in learning more about purchasing 2021 Season Ticket Memberships should visit CrewStadium.com, where they can see the view from each seat location along with the benefits of each section. Fans can also schedule their own private virtual tour of the New Crew Stadium with a Crew SC ticket representative.
The core of Crew’s 2020 MLS Cup-winning roster is set to return for the 2021 season. Crew SC exercised the contract options on eight players from its 2020 roster. With 19 other players already under contract for the 2021 season, the addition of Matan gives the Black & Gold a roster that currently features 28 players*.
Crew SC's current 2021 roster, listed alphabetically by position, is below:
Goalkeepers (4): Evan Bush, Eric Dick, Matt Lampson, Eloy Room
Defenders (9): Harrison Afful, Waylon Francis, Marlon Hairston, Aboubacar Keita, Grant Lillard, Jonathan Mensah, Milton Valenzuela, Josh Williams, Vito Wormgoor
Midfielders (12): Artur, Sebastian Berhalter*, Luis Diaz, Derrick Etienne, Jr., Perry Kitchen, Alexandru Matan, Aidan Morris, Kevin Molino, Darlington Nagbe, Isaiah Parente, Pedro Santos, Lucas Zelarayan
Forwards (3): Miguel Berry, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Gyasi Zardes
* on loan
TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew SC acquires midfielder Alexandru Matan FC Viitorul Constanta on March 8, 2021.Matan will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa and will occupy an international roster slot on the Crew’s roster.
Name: Alexandru Matan (ah-LEK-san-DREW mah-TON)
Born: August 29, 1999 in Galati, Romania
Hometown: Galati, Romania
Acquired: Acquired by Crew SC from Romanian side FC Viitorul Constanta on March 8, 2021
Previous Experience: FC Viitorul Constanta (2021-2016), FC Voluntari (2019-2020)