COLUMBUS, Ohio - Columbus Crew Head Coach Greg Andrulis and Crew General Manager Mark McCullers announced today that midfielder/defender Duncan Oughton will miss the remainder of the 2005 season due to a right knee injury that will require surgery.
Oughton will have cartilage transplant surgery on his right knee within the next 2-3 months, which will be followed by a 9-12 month recovery period. He should be ready to begin training during the 2006 preseason.
Oughton has not played this season while continuing to rehab from a right knee injury sustained in The Crew's final playoff game vs. New England on Oct. 31, 2004. He had surgery for the initial injury to the knee in early November of 2004.
"This is very difficult situation but something that is necessary," said Oughton. "The hardest part is watching your teammates and wanting to be out there contributing. And although I can't help on the field I am going to do what I can to support my team and play whatever role is necessary. I am prepared for the rehab that lies ahead and look forward to being ready for the 2006 season."
The 2005 season is Oughton's fifth year in Columbus and MLS. The New Zealand native has played in 91 career games (68 starts) for the Black & Gold, and has two career goals and six assists for 10 points. He has also appeared in and started seven playoff games. Oughton appeared in 28 games (21 starts) for The Crew in 2004 and tallied his first two career goals as well as one assist. He notched his first career goal on August 21 vs. D.C., but it was his second that was historic. His goal in The Crew's 1-1 tie at Colorado on October 16 helped Columbus clinch its first-ever Supporters' Shield for the top regular-season record in MLS. Oughton was The Crew's First Round MLS SuperDraft pick (10th overall) in 2001 out of Cal State Fullerton.
"Losing a player like Duncan Oughton is a significant loss," said McCullers. "He brings versatility, veteran leadership and a great deal of intensity on the field. We will miss those attributes, but we still have all the components necessary to achieve our goal, and that is to win an MLS Cup."