Crew signs midfielder Josh Gardner

Former University of Cincinnati star joins the Black & Gold after reaching the USSF D-2 final w

The Columbus Crew announced today that it has signed midfielder Josh Gardner to a multi-year contact. Per club and league policy no further terms of the deal were disclosed.

Originally drafted by the LA Galaxy in the first round of the 2004 MLS SuperDraft (No.13 overall), the 5-11, native Freeport, Texas, native joins the Crew after spending the last four seasons in the USL-1 (Seattle Sounders 2007-08) and the USSF D-2 (Carolina RailHawks 2009-10).

"Josh is a left-footed player with good passing ability," said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. "He was drafted by the Galaxy so he has some MLS experience, and will provide the depth on the left side that we need."
 
While at Carolina, Gardner saw action in 54 matches recording six goals and seven assists and helping the RailHawks reach the USSF D-2 championship match in 2010. Prior to the 2009 season, he spent two years with the Seattle Sounders, winning the USL-1 Championship in 2007 while tallying seven goals and three assists in 52 matches played.

Gardner joined the Galaxy in 2004 and was a member of the team that won the MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup double in 2005. While in LA, he logged 1,096 minutes in 21 games played, recording one goal over three seasons.

 “This is a very exciting opportunity for me," Gardner said. "I am very happy that the coaching staff saw something in me and decided to bring me on board. I am humbled by my journey to get here, but it is a great opportunity to come to a team that has such great tradition. I look forward to the hard work and to continue that tradition by helping the team achieve its goals.”

Gardner played at the University of Cincinnati in 2001-03, where he appeared in all 60 Bearcats matches during that time. As a freshman, he was one of three players on the team to start all 19 games that season. As a sophomore, he led the team with five assists and was named Second-Team All-Conference USA. In his final season, he tied for the team lead in goals (six) and assists (six) while starting every game of the season.