COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Crew has revealed its end-of-year roster decisions heading into the 2022 season. The Black & Gold are coming off a disappointing 2021 season where they finished in ninth-place in the Eastern Conference as defending MLS Cup Champions.

The Crew is retaining 18 players from the 2021 roster.

The club decided to exercise the contract options of nine players: Defenders Aboubacar Keita, Steven Moreira, and Josh Williams; midfielders Luis Diaz, Derrick Etienne Jr., Marlon Hairston, and Isaiah Parente; and forwards Gyasi Zardes and Miguel Berry.

The Black & Gold have extended 2022 contract offers to goalkeeper Eloy Room, defender Milton Valenzuela, and midfielder Pedro Santos.

The likes of defender and captain Jonathan Mensah along with midfielders Artur, Sebastian Berhalter, Perry Kitchen, Alex Matan, Kevin Molino, Aidan Morris, Darlington Nagbe, and Lucas Zelarayan are all under contract for the upcoming campaign.

Goalkeeper Evan Bush, and defenders Harrison Afful and Grant Lillard are out of contract and will have additional discussions with the Crew.

The club declined the contract options of goalkeeper Eric Dick; defenders Waylon Francis, Saad Abdul-Salaam and Vito Wormgoor; and forwards Erik Hurtado and Bradley Wright-Phillips. Midfielder Liam Fraser has returned to Toronto FC after his loan with Columbus in 2021.

The Columbus Crew begin the 2022 Major League Soccer season on February 26 against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Field.