AKRON, Ohio – University of Akron senior and two-year team captain Chad Barson has agreed to terms on a Homegrown contract with the Columbus Crew of Major Leauge Soccer, the franchise announced Thursday.
The signing reunites Barson, an NSCAA All-America First Team honoree in 2012, with Wil Trapp, who also signed a Homegrown contract with the Crew last month. Barson is the fifth Homegrown player in Crew history.
As Akron's ironman, Barson started 93 of 95 matches at center back from 2009-12 while helping to spearhead the greatest era of the Akron soccer program and one of the most dominant defensive runs in NCAA history.
During that time, the Zips posted an overall record of 78-7-10, advanced to the NCAA's Round of 16 or better each season and captured the school's first team national championship in any sport in 2010. Moreover, with Barson commanding the back line, UA finished in the top-5 nationally in goals-against-average (GAA) in three or four seasons, including 2009 when Akron led all Division I programs with a school-record mark of 0.27. It was also the third-lowest GAA recorded for a single season in NCAA history.
Additionally, in the last four seasons, the Zips recorded 60 shutouts in 95 matches, while allowing more than one goal just 10 times. Included in that total is an 11-game shutout streak from 2009-10 that matched an NCAA record.
In all, Barson is a three-time Academic All-American (3.99 GPA, Biology) as well as a three-time, All-Mid-American Conference First Team honoree. Despite all the accolades, the native of Lewis Center, Ohio, may be best remembered by Akron fans for clearing a ball off the line in the frantic final seconds against Louisville to preserve the Zips' 1-0 victory in the national championship match.
"Chad is a strong addition to our team and a player that we've had our eye on for some time," said Crew Technical Director Brian Bliss." "We're obviously familiar with his abilities from our Youth system, and he enjoyed a successful career at the University of Akron. Chad will make a fine pro and we look forward to his contributions."
In his time with the Crew Youth Program, Barson anchored the Black & Gold backline to the 2010 USYS U-19 and 2010 USL Super-20 League national championships. He also saw time with the United States U-15, U-17 and U-18 National Teams while leading the Crew Soccer Academy to the U-18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Final.
Barson will join the Black & Gold on January 17 when the team reconvenes for preseason training in Columbus.
Courtesy of Akron Sports Information Department