Columbus Crew today announced that it has acquired up to $1.4 million in General Allocation Money (GAM) from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for forward Gyasi Zardes. As part of the trade, the Crew will receive a guaranteed $300,000 in 2022 GAM and could also receive up to an additional $1.1M in GAM if Zardes reaches multiple performance metrics during his time with the Rapids. The transaction opens a Designated Player spot on the Crew roster and the Rapids will pick up the remainder of Zardes’ full budget charge for the 2022 MLS season. Zardes, who was in the last year of his contract with the Black & Gold, leaves the Crew as the player with the fourth-most regular-season goals (54), behind only Jeff Cunningham (64), Brian McBride (62) and Federico Higuain (55).

“First and foremost, we want to thank Gyasi personally as he has been an important member of the Crew and the Columbus community since joining in 2018. We know Gyasi quickly became a fan favorite given all of his contributions both on the field and throughout Central Ohio and we did not take this decision lightly,” said Columbus Crew President & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “When we think about the type of character and family we want in Columbus and in this League, Gyasi is a wonderful example of someone who fully embraced what it means to be a Crew player. He will always be a part of Crew history and our Black & Gold family.”

Continued Bezbatchenko: “We are constantly evaluating our roster and exploring ways in which to strengthen our squad. In order for us to feel comfortable with the idea of trading Gyasi, the deal would have to benefit all parties involved, including the player. Moreover, any possible deal had to financially reflect his on-field contributions. Our goal remains returning to the postseason and seeking championships, and we intend to work to secure the necessary points in the standings with 27 regular-season matches to go.”

Since joining the Black & Gold ahead of the 2018 season, Zardes has made 110 MLS regular-season appearances (100 starts), while scoring 54 goals and registering six assists. A member of the 2020 MLS Cup winning squad, Zardes is the only player in Club history to win the Crew’s Golden Boot Award three times (2018, 2019, 2020).

“I want to thank Gyasi for everything he has done as a player and as a person during his time with the Crew. He has been nothing but class in working with him and is the definition of a true professional. His contributions over four plus seasons were immense,” said Crew Head Coach Caleb Porter. “Gyasi will always be a part of Crew history in what was a special 2020 championship run and we wish him and his entire family the best in the next chapter of his career.”

At the international level, Zardes has earned 68 caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team since making his debut in a 2015 friendly against Chile (January 28). To date, the forward has recorded 14 goals and nine assists with the Stars and Stripes, while helping the team win two Concacaf Gold Cups (2017, 2021).

Up next, the Crew travels to face Sporting Kansas City at Mercy Children’s Park tomorrow, Saturday, April 23 [7:30 p.m. ET / Bally Sports Great Lakes, Bally Sports App (Stream) / 97.1 The Fan & 971TheFan.com (English); ColumbusCrew.com (Spanish)]. The Black & Gold then return to Lower.com Field to host D.C. United on Saturday, April 30 [7:30 p.m. ET / Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports App (Stream) / 97.1 The Fan & 971TheFan.com (English); ColumbusCrew.com (Spanish)]. Tickets for the April 30 match are available via this link.

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