Columbus Crew SC bolstered their back line by adding an accomplished defender on Thursday.
Crew SC announced that the club has signed Ghanaian international defender Harrison Afful as a Discovery Signing. Afful, 29, has spent the past six seasons with Esperance Sportive de Tunis in the Tunisian topflight, the Ligue Professionelle 1. Afful will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
Per club and MLS policy, additional details of the deal were not disclosed.
Afful has 53 caps for Ghana, registering five assists for the Black Stars. The 5-foot-6, 128 pound defender made his international debut at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, appearing in 23 Africa Cup of Nations matches, 17 World Cup qualification matches and 11 international friendlies before playing two matches for Ghana at last summer's World Cup, notching an assist in a 2-2 draw against eventual champions Germany.
"Harrison is an experienced, versatile defender whose playing style will fit well into our system," Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter said in a statement released by the club. "He has established himself in the highly competitive Ghanaian National Team and has participated in both the Africa Cup of Nations and in the World Cup. After an extensive search, we're happy to welcome Harrison to Columbus and we feel that he is going to be a great addition to our defensive corps."
Afful made a total of 173 appearances across all competitions in six seasons with Esperance, scoring 16 goals and adding 25 assists. In the five years spanning the 2009-10 and the 2013-14 seasons, he helped the club win the Ligue 1 title four times, finishing runner-up in 2012-13.
In 2011, he captured African club soccer's biggest crown by winning the CAF Champions League with ES Tunis. In the two-legged final against Wydad Casablanca from Morocco, he scored the lone goal of the series in the 21st minute of the second match, giving the Tunisian club the title and passage into the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan. He made two appearances in that tournament, against Al-Sadd and Monterrey.