Alex Crognale and Gregg Berhalter

Columbus Crew SC added one of the top defenders in college soccer to their roster Tuesday, when they announced that they’ve signed University of Maryland center back Alex Crognale to a Homegrown contract.

An All-American, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All-Big Ten selection and MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist in his senior year at Maryland in 2016, Crognale becomes the third Homegrown Player on Crew SC’s roster, joining Wil Trapp and Ben Swanson.

A native of Gahanna, Ohio, Crognale made 73 appearances in four years at Maryland, scoring 11 goals and recording three assists. Maryland recorded a +84 goal differential in his four seasons in College Park.

“Alex Crognale has been a member of the Crew SC family for many years and it is an exciting day to welcome him to the first team,” Crew SC head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter said in a statement released by the club. “Alex is a talented, young defender and we look forward to his development in his first season as a professional. We’re certainly proud of his accomplishments while in college and it is always a positive moment for the club when it can reward one if its own with a professional contract. The success of the academy continues to be a major focus for us as an organization and so we’re certainly pleased to have another Homegrown Player on the Black & Gold roster.”

Crognale, 22, spent four years in the Crew SC academy, playing for the club from 2010-2013. He’s the second Terrapin on Columbus’s roster, joining goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who he played with at Maryland in 2013 and 2014. He joins a Crew SC backline that will be without Gaston Sauro for the entire 2017 season due to injury and recently traded Michael Parkhurst to Atlanta. 

Crognale is the third player to a sign a Homegrown contract in MLS this offseason.

Full list of offseason Homegrown signings:

Previous Team
DF <a href="//">Alex Crognale</a>
Columbus Crew SC
University of Maryland
FW <a href="//">Jesus Ferreira</a>
FC Dallas
FC Dallas academy
FW <a href="//">Bryan Reynolds</a>
FC Dallas
FC Dallas academy