Columbus Crew sign Ghana international Jonathan Mensah as designated player

The 26-year-old defender joins after spending the past two seasons with Anzhi of the Russian Football Premier League.

The Columbus Crew have signed Ghana defender Jonathan Mensah, the MLS side announced Tuesday.

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Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed, but Mensah will occupy one of the Crew’s designated player slots.

“We are pleased to announce the signing of central defender Jonathan Mensah as a Designated Player,” Crew head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter said in a press release. “Jonathan is a physically dominant central defender who at a young age has already proven himself on the world’s biggest stage. We look forward to him making an immediate impact in Columbus.”

Mensah will aim to fill a large hole in central defense for the Crew, following the loss of Gaston Sauro for the 2017 season due to a multiple knee injuries and Michael Parkhurst’s departure to expansion side Atlanta United.

The 26-year-old defender has spent the last two seasons with Russian side Anzhi, but only made 19 appearances over that span. Previously, Mensah featured for the Free State Stars in Ghana, Ligue 1 side Evian and Granada CF of Spain’s second division.

Mensah is a two-time World Cup veteran, having been capped 51 times for Ghana. He started all three of his country’s contests at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and three more in 2010’s showpiece in South Africa.

He has also been called into Ghana’s squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, alongside new Crew teammate Harrison Afful.