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Crew sign former Galaxy midfielder Birchall

ChrisBirchall (Getty)

The Columbus Crew have been struggling in a variety of areas, one of which is the team's lack of a proven defensive midfielder. The team addressed that need on Monday with the signing of MLS veteran Chris Birchall.

The Crew announced the signing of Birchall on Monday, an addition that should bolster a midfield that has seen rookie Kirk Urso and Tony Tchani among the players who have tried to man the defensive midfield position.

Birchall was a member of the MLS Cup winning 2011 Los Angeles Galaxy side, but was not re-signed as the Galaxy chose to sign Brazilian Marcelo Sarvas along with re-signing Juninho.

The English-born midfielder and former Trinidad & Tobago international turned 28 on Saturday. To make room for him on the roster, the Crew played goalkeeper Wil Hesmer on the season-ending disabled list. Hesmer was already set to miss five more months after hip surgery.

What do you think of the signing? See Birchall helping the Crew? Wish the Galaxy would have kept Birchall?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Danny O’Rourke??? He’s basically Jermaine Jones if you took away any semblance of skill and left the wreckless tackles and frequent cards… This is coming from a Crew fan…

  2. I think they would have had to offer him a contract to keep his rights. If they didn’t offer him a contract they lost any rights to him. But I might be wrong because the MLS can sometimes be a bit tricky.

  3. LA really took off when Birchy was benched and Juninho took over his spot. Pointless move for the Crew. Tony Tchani has much more upside.

  4. “The Columbus Crew … lack of a proven defensive midfielder.”

    It’s not that they don’t have a proven DM, it’s just that O’Rourke has been injured more often than not in the last two years. When he’s on he’s a beast.

    This was a necessary move unfortunately. Between concussion issues for Marshall and O’Rourke with his latest injury (ankle), the Crew need some shoring up in back. Birchall is quality and I’m happy to see him on board!!

  5. The bigger thing will be getting Dilly Duka back healthy and playing at 100%. That guy is really developing nicely.

  6. Crew have had two years of turnover and a disasterous run of injuries starting last year. Right now there are 4 regular starters from last year’s playoff team and maybe 2 1/2 from the championship team. The Crew had a couple of decent signings but are falling behind other teams in signing international veterans and have ended up looking for diamonds in the rough from supplemental draftees. They are now starting to sign players, one available in June, and now this player. How ever they will not have a consistent lineup of veterans any time soon.

  7. i dont care about the crew, but i do care about the us national team, and this regime needs to get real serious about world cup qualifing. olympic qualifing better have been a massive wake up call.

  8. Fine.

    “Exciting” and “Crew” have never been seen in the same SBI blog post … until now.

    Hopefully, that was specific enough.

  9. Did you read the article? Birchall was not on contract with LA this year. Columbus were able to sign him with no caveat.

  10. Ramiro…
    Birchall was training with Port Vale in England since LA didn’t re-sign him after last season. He’s said to be fit after playing in a few of their reserve games.

  11. Carl…
    I couldn’t agree with you more. The Crew have always been a grind it out gritty team. They have solid possession, but unfortunately have not had a great “striker” since Crew legends, Brian McBride and Stern John. I love Bobby, and appreciate all he’s contributed as a player and a coach, but the Crew need a fresh face in charge. I’m pretty excited about the Birchall signing, but don’t see the Crew picking up steam until mid to late July. America’s hardest working team will be at 100%. They will be getting Vargas and Duka back from injury(Duka should be back soon, but I don’t see him being a100% for another month or so), Jair Arrietta, and hopefully a new DP.

  12. MASSIVE move for a player from a small country.

    Crew should end up top half of the league. If completely healthy they’d be title contenders, but not having Hesmer really hurts.

    Warzycha makes some terrible personnel / strategy decisions though. With a change in management this team would really be exciting.


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