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Crew cut Sanchez and Horton as offseason changes begin

Bliss confirmed that two players have been let go to kick off what will be a busy month for the team.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Horton and Matias Sanchez have been released from the Crew two days after the team's final game of the 2013 season, beginning what will likely be a busy off season for the team according to Adam Jardy of the Dispatch.

Horton was signed in May, 17th 2011 as the team's first homegrown player and played a single first team minute as a substitute against Real Salt Lake on June 8th, 2011. He failed to make an appearance during a brief loan with th Dayton Dutch Lions in May 2012. He had a falling out with head coach Robert Warzycha late last season, but returned to the team in 2013 due to his guaranteed contract.

Horton attempted to go on loan during the off season trialing with Bosnian club FK Sarjievo and Hammarby of Sweden, but failing to land a full time move. Horton did eventually get a loan to the L.A. Blues of the USL Pro division, making five appearances before failing to make a game day appearance between July 4th and the end of his loan on August 24th.

It was obvious that the Crew wanted nothing to do with Horton as he was allowed to look for a loan throughout the season. The team wasted little time letting Horton go now that he didn't have a guaranteed contract. Horton's salary was $80,500 according to figures released by the MLS Players Union.

Matias Sanchez played 14 games with 10 starts in his only season with the Crew. Sanchez was signed on February 8th, but struggled to make the starting lineup. He was relegated to the bench until making his first start on May 11th. Sanchez would start seven straight games, but then shuffle in and out of the lineup. He'd make his last start on August 3rd against Houston before suffering a calf injury and then failing to make the game day roster.

Sanchez's time with the club was likely limited as he failed to impress both Robert Warzycha and Brian Bliss but had the 4th highest guaranteed salary on the team at $230,000. Sanchez rugged playing style didn't mesh well with MLS referees. He did have a goal and assist, but he picked up five yellow cards in his limited time on the field.

The timing of the move is a little surprising given the Crew have yet to name a new head coach  however the team had previously stated that they will continue to assess personnel while the search continues as contract decisions and roster compliance deadlines are rapidly approaching.