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Oct 5, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Young Columbus Crew fans wear pink hats in honor of breast cancer awareness during a game against Sporting KC at Crew Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew Report: December 21, 2013

Gregg Berhalter’s Columbus Crew continued their offseason moves with a flurry of transactions. First off, they signed 29-year old midfielder Daniel Paladini from the Chicago Fire. As per Major League Soccer and club policy, further terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Daniel is a very technical player who has good vision and passes the ball well. He’s also good at quickly turning with the ball and these qualities will help complement our attack,” Berhalter told the press this week. “He’s a strong two-way midfielder in our League and we look forward to working with him soon.”

Name: Daniel Paladini
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 164
Born: November 11, 1984 in Van Nuys, Calif.
Hometown: Northridge, Calif.
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Signed by the Crew on December 20, 2013. Rights were traded to the Crew from the Chicago Fire on December 12, 2013 in exchange for Crew’s 2014 Fourth Round SuperDraft selection
Professional Experience: Chicago Fire (2011-2013), Carolina RailHawks (2009-2010), Chivas USA (2008), San Fernando Valley Quakes(2007), LA Galaxy (2006)

Next, Columbus acquired goalkeeper Steve Clark in a trade with the Seattle Sounders. The Sounders will receive the Crew’s 2015 Fourth Round MLS SuperDraft selection. Clark will need to receive his International Transfer Certificate to affirm the move.

“Steve is a player that has risen through the ranks of Norwegian football and has established himself as a top goalkeeper abroad,” said Berhalter to the media. “He was all-league in Norway and has enjoyed three consecutive strong seasons. Steve has presence, good reflexes and is extremely good in one-on-one situations, and he brings intensity to the goalkeeping position.”

Clark played the last four seasons with Honefoss BK, currently in Norway’s Tippeligaen, the country’s topflight division. The club was in the First Division in 2010 before being relegated to second tier Adeccoligaen for the 2011 season. The club earned promotion back to the Tippeligaen ahead of the 2012 campaign, giving Clark three years of experience at Norway’s highest level of competition.

Name: Steve Clark
Position: Goalkeeper
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 192
Born: April 14, 1986 in Mason, Michigan
Hometown: Mason, Michigan
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Traded from Seattle Sounders FC on December 16, 2013 in exchange for a 2015 Fourth Round SuperDraft pick
Professional Experience: Honefoss BK (2010-2013), Charleston Battery (2009), Michigan Bucks (2006-2009)

Forward Jairo Arrieta was re-signed to a new contract agreement. Arrieta has made 44 appearances – including 39 starts – with the Crew since originally signing on April 26, 2012. During his time in Columbus, the forward has scored 12 goals and added eight assists.

Sep 21, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Crew midfielder Bernardo Anor (7) and forward Jairo Arrieta (25) celebrate Anor

“We are pleased to welcome Jairo back to the club. He’s an extremely hard-working player and a dedicated teammate,” Berhalter said of the re-signing. “As he’s shown throughout his time in Columbus, Jairo has the talent to score goals and we look forward to his continued contributions in 2014.”

Name: Jairo Arrieta
Pronunciation: HI-row arr-EE-eta
Position: Forward
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 150
Born: August 25, 1983 in Nicoya, Costa Rica
Hometown: Nicoya, Costa Rica
Citizenship: Costa Rica
Acquired: Originally signed via Discovery on April 26, 2012 and was re-signed on December 18, 2013
Professional Experience: Crew (2012-2013), Deportivo Saprissa (2006-2012), Brujas FC (2004-2006)

Finally, the Crew have partnered up with Sid van Druenen’s Dayton Dutch Lions of USL PRO. The agreement between the two Ohio teams enables the Crew to loan a minimum of four players on its Major League Soccer roster to Dayton for the 2014 USL PRO campaign.

“We are proud to unveil our new partnership with Dayton Dutch Lions FC,” said Columbus Crew President Mark McCullers to reporters this week. “We have known the Dutch Lions organization since they came to Ohio. This partnership creates a formal alliance that encompasses player development at its heart but also allows the Columbus Crew to partner with Dayton Dutch Lions FC in growing our respective fan bases and brands.”

“The partnership is exciting from both a marketing perspective as well as a technical point of view,” said Dayton Dutch Lions FC President Mike Mossel. “On the marketing side, the Columbus Crew has built a very strong soccer brand in Ohio and has a great group of fans not only in Columbus, but also in Dayton and Cincinnati. The partnership brings recognition, professionalism and opportunities to market both clubs in Ohio.

“On the technical side, we will be adding several good Crew players to our USL PRO team to become a strong team in the League. On the other hand, we give talented Crew players a competitive platform to develop themselves and return as better, more experienced players in MLS.“

“This affiliation with Dayton is an important step in developing our younger players. We believe it’s beneficial for them to play competitive games at a high level, and this agreement accomplishes that goal for us,” Berhalter said of the alliance. “This move is specifically targeted toward players that we think have a bright future but won’t necessarily see immediate playing time in MLS, or those players that need to recapture their best form.

“We’re excited about this affiliation, we like the direction Dayton is heading as an organization and believe that this relationship will strengthen our squad.”

Tags: Columbus Crew MLS

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