Sunday, February 23, 2014

Crew Sign Costa Rican International

Around midday Friday, Feb 21 the Columbus Crew announced the signing of Costa Rican Giancarlo Gonzalez.

Gonzalez joins the Crew from Vålerenga of the Norwegian top division Eliteserien where he started 20 of the 30 league games for them as a center back.

Perhaps the most impressive bit of info about Gonzalez is that he was also regular starting center back for Los Ticos during their World Cup qualifying campaign last cycle of which the finished 2nd only the the US in CONCACAF. All totaled he has made over 30 apps for the Costa Rican national team.

The Crew discovered him via Gregg Berhalter's playing days when the LA Galaxy played Alajuelense (Costa Rica) in CCL play.

EXPECTED CREW ROLE : CB

He will be considered a critical 1st eleven player starting at center back and will play next to either Micheal Parkhurst or Josh Williams.

This signing will put Tyson Wahl back as a gameday 18 bench player and push Eric Gehrig and Kevan George back into more of reserve type roles as CBs. It also creates some competition at RB between Chad Barson and Josh Williams.

ESTIMATED WAGE : $200-300k

Transfer Market has him up there right behind Parkhurst, Higuain and Clark. It would not be surprising if he is making something similar to Glauber's wage last year.

On the more abstract side, Gonzalez also shows up in EA's FIFA 14 as a decent CB with a 66 rating and 74 potential. This puts him above average for a MLS defender.

MY THOUGHTS

Gonzalez is a known quality player in the North American region and the Crew have check off one of their priorities in the offseason. He makes the backline better and will add spice to the Crew during the World Cup this summer.

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