COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew 2 today announced that it has signed midfielder Clay Holstad to an MLS NEXT Pro professional contract, pending league and federation approval. Financial terms were not disclosed. Selected by the Crew in the Second Round (43rd overall) of the 2023 MLS SuperDraft, the 23-year-old joins the reigning MLS NEXT Pro champions following five seasons at the University of Kentucky.
“As we prepared for the SuperDraft, we were impressed by Clay’s performances not only defensively, but in his desire to break lines, and propensity to look forward,” said Columbus Crew 2 General Manager Corey Wray. “Clay’s mentality and hard work have been on display throughout preseason, and we are pleased to see him earn this opportunity with Crew 2 to take this first step of his professional journey.”
A fifth-year senior at Kentucky in 2022, Holstad started all 21 matches in which he appeared and recorded a career-high points with one goal and four assists. In all, Holstad appeared in 85 total matches from 2018-22, registering five goals and seven assists.
In his final season with the Wildcats, Holstad was named the 2022 Sun Belt Conference Tournament MVP following an impressive run as Kentucky captured the tournament title. He was also awarded Sun Belt Conference All-Tournament honors and Sun Belt Second-Team Conference honors at the conclusion of the 2022 regular season.
The Birmingham, Ala., native graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in 2022 and was pursuing an MBA prior to his selection in the SuperDraft. A three-time member of the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll (2019, 2020, 2021), Holstad was named to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2019 and 2020.
With Holstad’s signing, the Black & Gold have secured the services of all three of the Club’s 2023 MLS SuperDraft picks, with Max Arfsten signing with the First Team on Feb. 21, and Xavier Zengue joining Crew 2 on March 8.
Crew 2 begins defense of their title on the road against New York Red Bulls II on Sunday, March 26 and hosts New England Revolution II for the home opener at Historic Crew Stadium on Sunday, April 16.
Current 2023 Crew Season Ticket Members can add Crew 2 Season Ticket Memberships for $70, just $5 per match, via their account manager. Crew 2 Season Ticket Memberships for the general public are available for $112 here. Supporters also have the option to purchase Crew 2 season parking when purchasing Crew 2 Season Ticket Memberships. Single-match tickets for Crew 2 contests are on-sale here.
The full Crew 2 season schedule can be found here.
TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew 2 signs MLS SuperDraft pick Clay Holstad on March XX, 2023.