COLUMBUS – The Columbus Crew have acquired midfielder Julian Gressel from Vancouver Whitecaps FC in exchange for $550,000 of guaranteed General Allocation Money ($275,000 in 2023 and $275,000 in 2024). Vancouver could receive up to an additional $300,000 in GAM (2024-2026) based on conditional terms of the agreement.
“Throughout his career, Julian has been a versatile, dangerous player with a strong ability to create goals and assists, which has helped his clubs win championships and led him to the U.S. Men’s National Team,” said President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “As we continue to push toward becoming a consistent contender in the east, we are constantly evaluating opportunities to strengthen our roster, and adding a player of Julian’s caliber and character to our dynamic attack will be impactful as we enter Leagues Cup and the final stretch of the regular season.”
Gressel’s 65 regular season assists are the third-most in MLS since he entered the league in 2017, behind only Seattle Sounders FC’s Nicolas Lodeiro (70) and former NYCFC midfielder Maxi Moralez (69). Playing leading roles for clubs that have won the MLS Cup, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the Canadian Championship, the U.S. International has played in 202 regular season matches in his nine-year career and recorded double-digit assists in three seasons.
Born in Germany, Gressel became a U.S. citizen on Nov. 5, 2022, and earned the call-up for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s most recent January camp. He made his international debut for the USMNT in a friendly against Serbia on Jan. 25, providing an assist in the 1-2 loss. Gressel has six total caps and was part of the U.S. roster for the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup.
In 2023, Gressel has tallied three goals and five assists in 18 regular season matches for the Whitecaps. He also recorded two goals and one assist in Canadian Championship matches, including a goal contribution in the semifinal, as the Whitecaps lifted the Voyageurs Cup with a 2-1 victory over CF Montreal on June 7. For his efforts, Gressel was awarded the George Gross Memorial Trophy, given to the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Gressel was selected in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft by Atlanta United FC ahead of their inaugural season. He posted five goals and nine assists in 32 regular season appearances (24 starts), helping Atlanta become just the third expansion team in league history to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs. He was named the 2017 MLS Rookie of the Year, receiving 30 percent more votes than his closest competitor across all voter groups.
In his second season, Gressel totaled 14 assists while starting all 33 regular season matches played. He logged 90 minutes in all five of Atlanta's playoff matches during the club's 2018 MLS Cup Championship campaign. The following year, Gressel recorded 12 assists in 33 matches and added two goals and one assist in the postseason. He also provided an assist in the semifinals as Atlanta captured the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Gressel was traded to D.C. United prior to the start of the 2020 season. He notched 23 assists in 73 regular season appearances before joining the Whitecaps in July 2022.
Transaction: Columbus Crew acquire midfielder Julian Gressel from Vancouver Whitecaps FC in exchange for $550,000 of guaranteed General Allocation Money ($275,000 in 2023 and $275,000 in 2024). Vancouver could receive up to an additional $300,000 in GAM (2024-2026) based on conditional terms of the agreement.
Name: Julian Gressel
Weight: 209 lbs.
Born: Dec. 16, 1993
Birthplace: Neustadt an der Aisch, Germany
Citizenship: Germany and United States
Acquired: Via trade from Vancouver Whitecaps FC on July 21, 2023.
Previous Experience: Atlanta United (2017-19), D.C. United (2020-22), Vancouver Whitecaps (2022-23).
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