Transfer Tracker

Columbus Crew sign forward Maximilian Arfsten after SuperDraft selection

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The Columbus Crew have signed their top pick from the 2023 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, announcing Tuesday that Maximilian “Max” Arfsten has joined the club.

Selected 14th overall (first round), the 21-year-old forward has signed through the 2024 season with options for 2025-26.

Arsten arrives in Columbus after spending 2022 in MLS NEXT Pro with San Jose Earthquakes II, notching 9g/6a over 24 appearances. Prior to that, he played at UC Davis between 2019-21, earning Big West Conference All-Freshman Team honors while scoring eight goals and seven assists in his final collegiate season.

"Max’s hard work and attitude along with his ability to make an impact in the attack did not go unnoticed throughout preseason, and we are excited to see him earn a spot on our first-team roster," Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a press release.

"... We are looking forward to working with Max as he continues his development as a player in a first-team environment."

Well known for prioritizing the youth pipeline at former club CF Montréal, new head coach Wilfried Nancy is expected to do the same at Columbus and give Arfsten chances to prove himself. For now, the Fresno, California native projects as a backup option behind star striker Cucho Hernández and veteran offseason signing Christian Ramírez.

Rising Canadian forward Jacen Russell-Rowe also will challenge for minutes this year after a promising 2022 rookie season.

The Crew, MLS Cup 2020 champions, return to action on Feb. 25 when opening their 2023 season at the Philadelphia Union (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).