COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland senior defender Alex Crognale has signed a Homegrown contract with the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer, the team announced last week.
Crognale – a native of Gahanna, Ohio – was an imposing force both defensively and offensively, leading Maryland to four straight conference tournament championships before being tabbed an NSCAA First Team All-American in 2016. The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Crognale was also named a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist.
“I'll never forget the memories I've made, lessons I've learned, and the brothers I will have for life,” Crognale said. “I can't thank the coaching staff, the Crew and the entire University of Maryland Athletic Department enough for their constant support. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here in College Park and I'm truly going to miss wearing the Maryland letters across my chest.”
Maryland was an incredible 61-14-15 since Crognale’s arrival to College Park in 2013. He made 73 appearances and tacked on 11 goals for the Terps during his four-year career.
As a captain this season, Crognale helped the Terps amass an 18-1-2 record, including an unbeaten 16-0-2 regular season mark.
"We are so proud of Alex and excited for him as he takes the next step in his college career and returns home to Ohio," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "Alex grew not only as a player but as a person while here at Maryland. To win four conference tournament championships and earn a degree from Maryland speaks leaps and bounds for the type of person Alex is and we wish him nothing but success in the future."
Crognale will rejoin former Terp Zach Steffen, who signed with the Crew earlier this year.