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Columbus Crew re-sign Jairo Arrieta for 2014 season

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The 2012 co-leading goal scorer returns to the fold (likely at a reduced rate).

Crew re-sign Arrieta (hoping for 2012 version)
Crew re-sign Arrieta (hoping for 2012 version)
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Crew have been dancing around the subject of re-signing Jairo Arrieta for weeks. They even held off confirmation after Arrieta tweeted he'd return in 2014 earlier on Wednesday afternoon. Columbus was finally able to send the release late Wednesday afternoon that Arrieta will indeed be back in Black and Gold. The need for delay was obvious, nothing is official until it comes back from league.

Despite official stances, the two sides were pretty public about wanting to get a deal done. Head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter obviously saw some value in Arrieta. He spoke several times about wanting to bring Arrieta back, but if it made (financial) sense.

Arrieta was clear in wanting to stay, often choosing twitter to get the message out. He immediately talked about his option being declined as "a negotiation process". He also welcomed fellow Costa Rican Waylon Francis to the Crew and sent a message to Crew fans hoping to see them soon two days before the contract was final. Arrieta's return was hardly a surprise.

Both sides got what they wanted out of the deal. The Crew added a solid MLS forward. Arrieta has been a goal scorer in MLS and Berhalter is hoping he can regain some of that form, but not at a price tag approaching $250,000 as Arrieta's option likely was.

Arrieta could have gone back to Costa Rica, but he's fighting get back into the Costa Rican squad. MLS provides a better challenge that his home league. A good start to the 2014 season and he'll be in a better position to fulfill his World Cup dreams.

The deal chips away at some of the money that the Crew have left, but Berhalter still has a large amount of salary budget and allocation dollars to use in building the 2014 squad. Columbus has some solid MLS level players, but now comes the more difficult challenge, finding impact players that will power the team to the MLS playoffs. Those are harder to find.