COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew 2 has signed defender Diego Almeida. The 19-year-old defender joins the Black & Gold after most recently spending time with Spanish La Liga side FC Barcelona’s Under-19 team.
“Diego is a promising young center back, and we are excited to welcome him to Columbus,” said Crew 2 General Manager Corey Wray. “From his time with the FC Barcelona Academy and his experiences with top youth and senior national teams, Diego has developed a unique vision and deep understanding of the game. We’re excited to provide an opportunity for Diego to create a new pathway in North America, and he is excited to get settled and get to work. We look forward to helping him further progress and continue to develop his game within our Club.”
Almeida started his youth career at FC Barcelona in 2011 and climbed the ranks to play in seven matches in 2021-2022 with Barcelona’s U-19 team in the UEFA Youth League, as well as one appearance with Barça B in 2022.
After representing Ecuador’s U-15 team, Almeida appeared in 20 matches for Spain at the youth level, recording two goals. He made his senior international debut at 17-years-old for Ecuador against El Salvador on Dec. 5, 2021, entering as a second half substitute for current Crew First Team defender Gustavo Vallecilla.
Columbus Crew 2 will play their next match vs FC Cincinnati 2 on Sunday, September 17 at 6:00 p.m. in Highland Heights, KY at the Northern Kentucky University Soccer Stadium.
TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew 2 signs defender Diego Almeida to an MLS NEXT Pro professional contract on Sept. 16, 2023.
Name: Diego Almeida
Pronunciation: Dee-AYE-goh ahl-MAY-dah
Date of Birth: February 12, 2004
Hometown: Rubí, Spain
Citizenship: Ecuador, Spain
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