COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew today announced that it has signed Crew Academy product and defender Keegan Hughes as a Homegrown Player through the 2024 season with Club options through 2026. Hailing from Heath, Ohio, the 2018 Crew Academy Player of the Year becomes the 20th Homegrown signing in Club history.

“We are thrilled to welcome another Crew Academy player to the First Team,” said Columbus Crew President & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “During his time at Stanford, Keegan proved himself to be one of the top defenders in the collegiate game, and we are excited for him to return home to central Ohio. This signing is a testament to the tireless efforts of Kelvin Jones and the Crew Academy staff. The Academy has continued to provide a pathway to the professional ranks as we cultivate and develop top youth talent in the state and region. We look forward to working with Keegan as he takes this important next step in his career.”

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Keegan Hughes with Wilfried Nancy, Corey Wray, Tim Bezbatchenko, Marc Nicholls, and Issa Tall

Hughes joins Aidan Morris, Isaiah Parente and Sean Zawadzki as the four Crew Academy products on the current roster.

Hughes returns to Ohio following a standout four-year collegiate career at Stanford University, where he started all 73 games in which he appeared, scoring eight goals and tallying seven assists.

A senior captain in 2022, Hughes and the Cardinal defense recorded nine shutouts during the regular season, the most in the Pac-12, as Stanford reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA College Cup tournament. A MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist, Hughes finished his final collegiate season with a bevy of honors including First Team All-American, Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, All-Pac-12 First Team, CSC Academic All-District, All-Far West Region, First Team Scholar All-American and the National Scholar Player of the Year award. 

The 22-year-old was additionally recognized as All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention and Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll (2021); All-Pac-12 Second Team, Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week (May) and Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll (2020-21); and College Soccer News All-Freshman First Team and Top Drawer Soccer Best XI Freshman Second Team (2019).

Hughes joined the Crew Academy in 2013 as a 13-year-old and played at every level of the player development pathway 

prior to matriculating at Stanford. A two-time Academy captain (2016-17, 2018-19), he was named Columbus Crew Academy Player of the Year in 2018 after scoring five goals in 26 appearances for the Under-18/19 team and helping lead the squad to a third place finish at the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy Playoffs.

Crew players are currently training in the seasonal bubble encompassing the field at Historic Crew Stadium through Jan. 15. The team will then travel to South Florida for the first trip of the preseason, where the Black & Gold will train in Port St. Lucie from Jan. 16-27. The Crew returns to Columbus and will train in-market from Jan. 28 - Feb. 5, before heading to Fort Lauderdale for the second trip of the preseason (Feb. 6-18).    

The Black & Gold are set to open the 2023 MLS season on the road against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, Feb. 25 and hosts D.C. United for the home opener at Lower.com Field on Saturday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Single-game tickets are now on-sale for the general public and are available here.   

Soccer fans looking to experience Crew matches have a number of options as Season Ticket Membership for the 2023 season, which are currently on sale, includes benefits such as a subscription to Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass, exclusive, member-only events, a discount at the Crew Shop, monthly, interest free payment plans, the ability to purchase discounted parking, pre-sale access to all events at Lower.com Field, Historic Crew Stadium and FirstEnergy Stadium, and a dedicated account manager and service representative. Fans interested in purchasing Season Ticket Memberships are encouraged to call 614-447-2739, email seasontickets@columbuscrew.com, or visit www.columbuscrew.com/tickets/membershipsto get connected with a Season Ticket Member representative.       

The updated roster currently stands at 24 players for the Black & Gold, and is listed alphabetically by position below:

Goalkeepers (4): Evan Bush, Eloy Room, Patrick Schulte, Brady Scott 

Defenders (9): Milos Degenek, Mo Farsi, Keegan Hughes, Jimmy Medranda, Jonathan Mensah, Steven Moreira, Jake Morris, Will Sands, Josh Williams   
 
Midfielders (9): Luis Diaz, Kevin Molino, Alex Matan, Aidan Morris, Darlington Nagbe, Isaiah Parente, Yaw Yeboah, Sean Zawadzki, Lucas Zelarayan   
 
Forwards (2): Cucho Hernandez, Jacen Russell-Rowe  

TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew signs defender and Crew Academy product Keegan Hughes as a Homegrown Player through the 2024 season with Club options through 2026, announced on January XX, 2023. 
 
Name: Keegan Monroe Hughes 
Position: Defender 
Height: 6’3” 
Weight: 190 lbs. 
Born:July 22, 2000 in Newark, Ohio 
Hometown:Heath, Ohio  
Citizenship: United States 
Acquired:Signed as a Homegrown Player on January 11, 2023. 
Previous Experience: Stanford University (2019-2022)

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