Dec. 15, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio (From the Crew) - The Columbus Crew announced Thursday it has signed Ohio State goalkeeper and Crew Soccer Academy product Matt Lampson to a multi-year contract as its second Homegrown Player. Per club and league policy no further terms of the deal were disclosed.
A native of Hilliard and graduate of St. Charles Preparatory School, Lampson redshirted at Northern Illinois in 2008 before transferring to Ohio State the following year. With the Buckeyes he appeared in 56 matches, posting a 0.86 goals-against average and 24 shutouts, which ranks second on the school's all-time list.
While at OSU, Lampson earned a series of accolades including All-Big Ten First Team (2010), All-Big Ten Second Team (2009, 2011), All-Great Lakes Region First Team (2010), Big Ten co-Freshman of the Year (2009), eight Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors, and All-Big Ten Fall Academic Team (2011). He has completed his studies and will graduate this month.
"This is a dream come true," Lampson said. "It has been amazing to me because I grew up a Crew fan and, as a youth player, your goal is always to play professionally and to be able to play for your hometown team. This is just an incredible feeling. I can't wait to put on the Crew jersey and work with great guys like Will (Hesmer) and Andy (Gruenebaum) and Robert (Warzycha), and do whatever I can to help the team."
The 6-3, 190-pound Lampson was the starting goalkeeper on the 2008 Crew Soccer Academy U-17/18 team that finished third at the Development Academy National Finals, on the heels of completing treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma that remains in remission. Lampson shined at St. Charles, as well. He was named team MVP and most valuable defensive player two consecutive years (2006 and 2007) and was a member of the 2007 All-Central Catholic League Team.
"Matt is big, athletic goalkeeper who commands his box very well," said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. "He is confident and had great success at the collegiate level. Because he is a member of our system and played at Ohio State, we have been able to closely monitor his development and he has continued to improve and grow as a player. We are very happy to welcome him to the first team."
Lampson becomes the sixth local product to sign with the Crew, joining Eric Brunner (Dublin), Aaron Horton (Lewis Center), Chris Leitch (Pickerington), Danny O'Rourke (Worthington) and Brandon Ward (Westerville). Horton was signed in May of this year as the club's first Homegrown Player.
A club may sign a player to his first professional contract without subjecting him to the MLS SuperDraft if the player has trained for at least one year in the club's youth development program and has met league criteria. Players joining MLS through this mechanism are known as Homegrown Players. There is no limit to the number of Homegrown Players a club may sign in a given year.
Founded by American sports pioneer Lamar Hunt, the Columbus Crew is Ohio's Major League Soccer club, anchoring a diverse sports and entertainment enterprise. One of the league's Charter Members, it won its first MLS Cup championship in 2008 and has also won the 2002 U.S. Open Cup and MLS Supporters' Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. It is entering its 17th season overall and 14th at first-of-its-kind Crew Stadium.
25 - Matt Lampson Position: Goalkeeper Height: 6-3 Weight: 190 Born: Sept. 6, 1989 (Cleveland, Tenn.) Hometown: Hilliard, OH Citizenship: United States 2011 Team: Ohio State University (NCAA) How Acquired: Signed on Dec. 15, 2011
TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew (MLS) - Signed G Matt Lampson as a Homegrown Player.
Quotes from John Bluem, Ohio State head coach coach
"We are delighted for Matt and the fact he has an opportunity to take his game to the next level. Because he has a year of eligibility left, we will certainly miss him, but this is great for him and we would never stand in his way.
He graduated this past weekend, so the timing was perfect for him to move on instead of staying around for a final year and taking class just to take them. We wish him the absolute best with his professional career."