There will be a battle for the Columbus Crew goalkeeper's spot in 2014.
The Black-and-Gold on Monday announced the acquisition of American 'keeper Steve Clark in a sign-and-trade deal with the Seattle Sounders, who had a Discovery claim on the player. The Sounders signed Clark and shipped him to the Crew for a 2015 fourth round SuperDraft selection.
Clark, who played the last four seasons with Norwegian top-flight side Honefoss BK, was a Tippeligaen Best XI selection in 2012. He played in Scandinavia at the same time that current Crew sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter was coaching there at the helm of Swedish club Hammarby.
“Steve is a player that has risen through the ranks of Norwegian football and has established himself as a top goalkeeper abroad,” said Crew Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter in a club statement. “He was all-league in Norway and has enjoyed three consecutive strong seasons. Steve has presence, good reflexes and is extremely good in one-on-one situations, and he brings intensity to the goalkeeping position.”
The Michigan native played collegiate soccer at Oakland University and had stints with his home state PDL side Michigan Bucks (2006-2009) and USL side Charleston Battery (2009) before heading to Norway.
Monday's move spelled the end of Andy Gruenebaum's tenure with the Columbus Crew after eight seasons. The veteran 'keeper was traded to Sporting Kansas City on the same day.