#21 Alex Crognale
Height: 6’ 5”
Hometown: Columbus, OH
College: University of Maryland
Previous Club: Columbus Crew SC (MLS)
Crognale continued making a massive impact for the Legion in 2021. He made 27 appearances and led the team in clearances for the second year in a row (113). Crognale also had the third highest number of interceptions (41). He demonstrated in 2021 that he’s more than just a defender, as he would regularly push up into the box for the Legion and score with his head. He had six shots on target and scored two goals.
Legion FC’s 2020 ‘Defender of the Year’ started every match in his first season in Birmingham and led the team in minutes after playing every minute of the season except for the final six minutes in BHM’s 4-1 victory vs. the Charlotte Independence on August 29.
He more than doubled the next highest teammate in number of clearances on the year (75), and also led the team in blocks (17), passes (930), aerial duels (52), and aerial duels won (37). The big man also finished third on the team in interceptions this season (16), tied for third in goals (3), put up the fifth-most shots (13), and had the seventh-most tackles (13) en route to being named to the USL Championship All-League Second Team.
Crognale signed a homegrown contract with the Columbus Crew in 2016 made 38 appearances from 2017 to 2019 in MLS and the U.S. Open Cup, while also spending time on loan in the USL Championship. He played 26 times for Orange County SC in 2018 and racked up four goals and two assists, and OCSC’s 2018 season ended in the Western Conference Finals, a game in which Crognale bagged an assist. He also spent time in 2019 on loan to Eastern Conference foe Indy Eleven, making six appearances.
Crognale grew up playing in the Crew academy before heading to the University of Maryland where he played in 73 games and scored 11 goals from 2013 to 2016. As a senior, he captained the Terrapins to their third straight Big Ten Tournament title, was named Big Ten Defender of the Year, and was honored as a First Team All-American.