The Columbus Crew signed their first ever Homegrown player Tuesday afternoon. Aaron Horton, a forward from the University of Louisville, is a native of Lewis Center, Ohio. He attended Olentangy Orange High School and was a member of the Crew Soccer Academy. The 5-9, 165-pound Horton only played one year at Louisville, scoring 3 goals and dishing out 2 assists in 23 games. Louisville finished the season as national runner-up after losing to Akron in the NCAA College Cup Championship Game, 1-0. Horton will turn 19 years old this Thursday.
Horton spent the 2009-2010 season with the Crew Soccer Academy. He was a member of the Crew’s 2010 USL Super 20s National Championship team last summer, where he was named the MVP of the tournament. Horton also spent 2007 at the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.
Here is the definition of a Homegrown Player according to MLS:
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.
In other Crew news, defender Josh Williams has been placed on the six-game disabled list (hip) to make room for Horton on the roster.
Utility man Danny O’Rourke fully trained with the team today. He has been on the disable list since the beginning of the year due to having knee surgery during the off-season.
Mexican trialist Arnhold Rivas was released by the team today. Rivas, a attacking midfielder/forward, was most likely released because of the signing of Horton. Rivas had been training with the team since last week.