The Columbus Crew announced today that it has re-signed the club’s 2013 Budweiser Golden Boot-winning forward Dominic Oduro. The 28-year-old netted a career-high 13 goals and matched a career-high four assists in his first season with the Black & Gold in 2013. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“Dominic is the most explosive player in the League, and he will play an important role in our plans moving forward,” said Crew Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “There was lot of competition for Dominic’s signature, but he wanted to stay in Columbus, and when a coach hears that it’s a great feeling. We’re very happy to get this deal done and we look forward to seeing him back with the club in preseason training.”
2014 is set to be Oduro’s ninth season in Major League Soccer and second in Columbus after the Crew acquired the speedy finisher from the Chicago Fire ahead of the 2013 campaign. In his first season in a Crew jersey, he started all 34 matches, splitting time at right midfield (16 starts) and forward (18 starts), en-route to his team-leading 13 tallies.
After scoring a 94th-minute goal in his Crew debut during a 3-0 season-opening win at Chivas USA on March 2, Oduro went on to register four strikes that were nominated for Major League Soccer’s Goal of the Week. Following a three-goal month of April, he proceeded to put the finishing touches on a three-match consecutive goal-scoring streak in September – adding an assist in the 4-2 win at FC Dallas on September 29 – that sealed MLS Player of the Month honors. His 13-goal scoring clip also tied Andres Mendoza (2011) for the Crew’s highest goal-scoring output in the last five seasons, marking the third-highest goal-scoring rate for a player in his first year in a Crew jersey, trailing only Brian McBride with 17 goals in 1996 and Stern John, who scored 26 times in 1998.
In addition to finding the back of the net 13 times in 2013, Oduro registered a previous career-high 12 goals in 2011 while with Chicago, giving him two seasons of 12 or more goals in the last three MLS campaigns. With a total of 46 career strikes, the Ghanaian scored 18 goals in 66 matches from 2011-2012 in Chicago, joining the Fire after stints with Houston (2009-2011), New York (2009) and FC Dallas (2006-2008). His five game-winning goals for the Crew in 2013 were another personal best.