Columbus Crew SC is making moves. According to a tweet from Jame Coban, and subsequently confirmed by ESPN soccer insider Jeff Carlisle, the Black & Gold are trading for Portland Timbers’ David Guzman. The Crew will send an international slot to Portland in exchange for the midfielder.
Portland is also expected to send an international roster spot to an unnamed club in the coming week, according to Carlisle.
Guzman came to the Timbers in 2017 from Costa Rican Primera Division side Saprissa. During his first season with Portland, Guzman played in 25 games, starting 24, and scoring one goal while registering six assists under current Crew head coach Caleb Porter.
Following the 2017 season, Porter and the Timbers mutually parted ways and Portland brought in Giovanni Savarese. Guzman still featured under Savarese in 2018, playing in 14 games, 11 starts, and recording three goals and one assist while dealing with two separate injuries that forced him to miss six total games. Guzman started in five of the Timbers’ six playoff games last year, including the 2-0 loss to Atlanta United in the MLS Cup Final.
This season, Guzman started four times for Portland and made one substitute appearance. The Costa Rican has not featured in any of the Timbers’ last three games, after struggling during Portland’s 0-1-5 start to the year. The recent play of Cristhian Paredes, who started in the Timbers’ 3-1 win over Columbus at MAPFRE Stadium on April 20, is likely what made Guzman expendable.
Before coming to MLS, Guzman made 214 appearances for Saprissa, scoring 18 goals. The midfielder has also made 51 appearances for the Costa Rican National Team and was involved in the team that took part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, featuring in all three of the games Los Ticos played.
The Crew appointed Porter head coach this offseason after the departure of Gregg Berhalter, who took over as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team. The Black & Gold got off to a fast 4-1-1 start to the Porter era, but have struggled in recent weeks, losing each of their last four games, including all three last week. The major issue for Columbus of late has been scoring goals, something Guzman is not known for doing.
Guzman is a defensive midfielder by trade. Currently, the Black & Gold have Wil Trapp and Artur as starters in those positions, with veteran midfielder Ricardo Clark and second-year player Luis Argudo providing depth. This move could be potential cover for a move out of Major League Soccer by Trapp this summer. The Columbus native has been linked with a move abroad and received his Greek passport last May.
This is an ongoing story and Massive Report will provide updates as they become available.