The Union got something for nothing.
Completing their only transaction at the summer transfer window, Union sporting director Earnie Stewart sold an unused international roster spot to the Columbus Crew for $50,000 in general allocation money, which can carry over into 2018.
The added GAM will give Stewart some flexibility when working around the MLS salary cap next season. One of the many MLS quirks, GAM is a way for teams to lower the salary cap hit of designated players.
And although the move can be considered a smart one for the 8-10-5 Union, it was a result of inaction. Over the last few months, Stewart hosted multiple international trialists to fill the club’s vulnerable No. 10 spot. However, the Union were unable to find a solution, leaving converted right winger Ilsinho and Roland Alberg to split duty until Stewart can find a more permanent answer.
For the Crew, it was a much-needed purchase. Expected to lose long-time midfielder Federico Higuain at the conclusion of 2017, the Crew picked up the slack by snagging Portuguese winger Pedro Santos for reportedly over $2 million. The move forced the club into renting an international slot from the Union for the remainder of the 2017 season.