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Federico Higauin Signs New Designated Player Contract

Columbus Crew SC will keep their Designated Player in Columbus for years to come.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC announced today that Federico Higuain has signed a new Designated Player contract with the Black and Gold. The deal is confirmed as the largest ever signed by a Crew SC player. The club announced earlier in the offseason that it had picked up the option of the existing contract for 2015, but this will extend Higuain's stay beyond the upcoming season.

The 30-year old signed with Columbus on July 27, 2012. In 13 appearances that year, Higauin scored five goals and registered seven assists. He followed that us with a 11 goal, nine assist season in 2013 and an 11 goals and seven assists the following campaign.

Since his arrival in Columbus, Higuain's 27 goals rank fifth in MLS and he is one of just eight players to register double-digit finishes in 2013 and 2014. He also has the most converted penalty kicks (12) than any other player over that time.

"Federico has proven to be one of the top talents in Major League Soccer and a key contributor to the attacking, possession-based brand of soccer that we are trying to play at the club," said sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter. "This new contract demonstrates both Mr. Precourt's vision to create an attractive, winning team and Federico's commitment to play in Columbus for the foreseeable future."

Higuain was named the team's Barbasol Most Valuable Player in both of his full seasons in Columbus. For the second year in a row, he led the team in goals and assists in 2014, tying with winger Ethan Finlay. Along with Finlay, he was one of only four MLS players to score at least 11 goals and seven assists.

Per league policy, the terms of the deal were not disclosed but it was confirmed that the Black and Gold's number 10 will remain in Columbus for a while with a multi-year deal.