Columbus Crew SC concluded its second trade in a few hours on Thursday as the club announced that left back Waylon Francis is leaving the club to join the Seattle Sounders. The Black & Gold will receive $50,000 in General Allocation Money from the MLS Cup runners-up in the deal.
Crew SC had declined Francis’ contract option two weeks ago, but was still negotiating a new deal with the Costa Rican international according to head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter.
“We want to thank Waylon for his service to the club during the last four seasons,” Berhalter said in a club statement. “Waylon’s contributions helped shape Crew SC’s style of play and we wish him the best of luck in the next stage of his career.”
NEWS: #CrewSC has acquired $50,000 in General Allocation Money from @SoundersFC in exchange for defender Waylon Francis. Thank you for your four seasons in Columbus, Waylon.— Columbus Crew SC (@ColumbusCrewSC) December 14, 2017
The 27-year-old left-back joined Crew SC ahead of the 2014 season. Francis departs from the club with 90 appearances (82 starts) and 18 assists over four years. His most prolific year with the Black & Gold was 2015, when he amassed eight assists and was named to the MLS All-Star roster and awarded Crew SC’s Defender of the Year Award.
In 2017, though, he had his worst year with the club, playing in only 12 matches and notching just a couple of assists. Francis also struggled with injuries during the season and never found his best form.
With Francis and Jukka Raitala, who was selected by Los Angeles Football Club in the expansion draft on Tuesday, both gone, Crew SC will definitely look for signings at the left back position. On the current roster, Hector Jimenez is the only capable of playing in the spot as he did in 2017.
Milton Valenzuela, a 19-year-old Argentinean left back currently playing for Newell’s Old Boys, has been recently linked with Crew SC, but the club is yet to confirm the deal.