COLUMBUS – The Columbus Crew today announced that it has transferred defender Giancarlo Gonzalez to Palermo of the Italian Serie A. Per club and MLS policy, additional details of the deal were not disclosed.
“We would like to thank Giancarlo for his professionalism and dedication to our organization during his time in Columbus, and we wish him every success on his next career journey in Serie A,” said Crew Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “Our club prides itself on creating a player-first culture where our soccer environment can improve the value of our players. This was the case with Giancarlo following his strong performances in MLS and throughout the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In the short-term, we are disappointed to part with a player of Giancarlo’s ability, but in the long-term this move allows us to accelerate our on-field vision. We have a strategic plan in-place to become a high-performance club, to strengthen our global scouting network and to continue developing our Academy. Our ownership is very supportive of this approach and today’s deal gives us the ability to accelerate that process.”
Gonzalez made 17 appearances – all starts – at centerback for the Black & Gold, scoring one goal for the club, a tally in his final game as a member of the Crew. He made his MLS debut in the 2014 season-opener against D.C. United and started the next 10 matches of the season before being named to the Costa Rican National Team’s 30-man preliminary roster ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. There, he played every minute of his team’s run in the tournament, beginning with all 270 minutes of Costa Rica’s three Group Stage matches.
On the world’s stage, he also converted his spot-kick during penalties to help his team advance in the Round of 16 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup against Greece on June 29, 2014, and then repeated the feat in the Ticos' shootout loss to the Netherlands in the Quarterfinals on July 5, 2014. Across his 38 international caps, Gonzalez has seen time in 12 friendlies, three CONCACAF Gold Cup matches, four Copa Centroamerica tilts, 14 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and five matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, including three Group Stage matches, a Round of 16 victory and a Quarterfinal loss.
Gonzalez received international recognition during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and was named to ESPN's Best XI from the Group Stage as well asThe Guardian's list of 10 emerging players. Following the Final, he was recognized as part of the Best XI for the entire FIFA World Cup by bothESPN and the BBC, as well as Bloomberg Sports' Power 25 list.
Gonzalez returned to the Crew lineup after the tournament and scored his first career goal in MLS last Saturday in the club’s 4-1 win over the LA Galaxy. Prior to joining the Crew, Gonzalez spent time with Norwegian First Division side Vålerenga and with Alajuelense of Costa Rica’s Primera Division.
The Crew completes the month of August with a road test on Saturday, August 30 at the Montreal Impact (7:30 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).
TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew transfers defender Giancarlo Gonzalez to Palermo in Italy’s Serie A.