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Columbus Crew loan Alex Crognale to Indy, LAFC sends 4 to Phoenix

Jun 2, 2018; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Crew SC defender Alex Crognale (21) against Toronto FC in the second half at MAPFRE Stadium. (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

Since signing a homegrown deal with Columbus Crew SC in 2016, Alex Crognale has appeared in 22 MLS contests over the past two seasons.

In 2019, the 6-foot-5 defender is in line to see more playing time, but not with Columbus.

The Crew announced earlier this week they loaned Crognale to Indy Eleven of the second-tier USL Championship. The University of Maryland product was in the matchday 18-man roster for Indy on Friday when the team played an away game against the Charlotte Independence.

“We’re really happy to have Alex here in Indy. He’s got great USL Championship experience and had a successful season last year,” Indy head coach Martin Rennie said in a statement. “He brings a lot height and power to our backline. He’ll be a great addition to the squad. He’ll bring more danger to our set plays, as well as more ability for us to defend on set plays.” 

Crognale, 24, is a native of Columbus and came up in the Crew’s academy system. At Maryland, he scored 11 goals in 73 appearances, helped the Terps claim a Big Ten title in 2016, was an All-American and named Big Ten Defender of the Year.

After signing his homegrown deal in December of 2016, Crognale made his MLS debut March 18, 2017 against D.C. United. He appeared in 17 matches that season, starting 12, and tallied one assist.

In 2018, he scored his first MLS goal, putting one in the back of the net as a sub against Toronto FC on June 2. He also spent time with Orange County SC, another USL Championship side, last season, scoring four times in 23 games.

LAFC sends 4 players to Phoenix Rising FC

Los Angeles FC and Phoenix Rising FC announced an agreement earlier this week that included four LAFC players being loaned to the USL Championship side.

Shaft Brewer Jr., Tristan Blackmon and Josh Perez will join Phoenix on loan for the second straight season, and they will be joined in 2019 by midfielder Javier Perez, who LAFC selected with the 64th overall pick in this year’s SuperDraft.

Javier Perez and Blackmon each started for Phoenix on Saturday in the club’s 3-3 draw versus New Mexico United. Blackmon played the whole match, Perez was subbed off in the 90th minute and Brewer was subbed on in the 45th minute. Josh Perez was not the in 18-man gameday roster.

Blackmon, a 22-year-old defender, appeared in 10 games for LAFC and eight games for Phoenix last season. LAFC spent the third overall pick in the 2018 SuperDraft on him.

Brewer, a 19-year-old forward, spent time in the academies of Sacramento Republic, FC Dallas and Germany’s RB Leipzig as a youngster. He played in three games with LAFC last season and eight games with Phoenix, including the USL Championship game.

Josh Perez, 21, has played in Italy, coming up in Fiorentina’s academy and appearing in one match with the senior team. He also played in 22 games with Seri B side Livorno on loan. The Californian forward signed with LAFC on a free transfer prior to the 2018 season and appeared in two games for them. He played in 10 matches with Phoenix.

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