Columbus Crew SC made official on Monday morning a trade with the Portland Timbers to acquire midfielder David Guzman. In exchange for the player, the Crew sends an international slot for the 2019 season to the Timbers. This trade confirms a report from a Twitter user named Jame Coban and then ESPN soccer insider Jeff Carlisle from Friday that Guzman was on his way to Columbus.
”We are excited to welcome David to Columbus Crew SC,” Crew President Tim Bezbatchenko said in the press release. “David is a player who brings World Cup, Copa America, Concacaf Champions League and MLS Cup experience to the Club, and who will add depth to our midfield. Having worked with Caleb before, we believe David will quickly integrate into our squad and we look forward to his contributions to Crew SC.”
Guzman, 29, has had a long soccer career, both at the club and international level. The Costa Rican first came to Major League Soccer on Dec. 22, 2016, joining the Portland Timbers, then coached by Porter, ahead of the 2017 season. In his debut year in the league, Guzman made 25 appearances, 24 starts, while scoring one goal and registering six assists in a starting role in the central midfield alongside Diego Chara.
Following the 2017 season, Porter parted ways with Portland and the club subsequently replaced him with head coach Giovanni Savarese. Guzman found it more difficult to find playing time under Savarese in 2018, appearing in only 14 games, 11 starts, and recording three goals and one assist. While he dealt with injuries last season, it wasn’t until the MLS Cup playoffs, where Guzman started five of six games including the 2018 MLS Cup Final 2-0 loss to Atlanta United, that the new manager appeared to gain confidence in the player.
Guzman began 2019 as a regular contributor for the Timbers, starting four of the first five games of the year for Portland. The midfielder, though, has not featured in Savarese’s side since the Timbers’ 3-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on April 6. In total, Guzman appeared for Portland 44 times, 39 starts, while recording four goals and eight assists.
Prior to coming to the Timbers and MLS, Guzman spent the first seven years of his professional career with Deportivo Saprissa of the Costa Rican First Division. After making his debut for the club in 2009, Guzman featured 214 times for Saprissa while scoring 18 goals. During his time with the club, Saprissa won five league titles.
On the international level, Guzman has been a fixture for Costa Rica. The midfielder won 51 caps for his country, including playing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the 2011 Copa America, the 2011, 2015 and 2017 Gold Cup and the 2011 and 2017 Copa Centroamericana. Guzman also featured for Costa Rica at the Under-17 and Under-20 levels, participating in the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup and the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Guzman is expected to be a the Crew’s training facility on Monday as the team prepares for Wednesday night’s game against the LA Galaxy. The Black & Gold have lost five games in a row following Saturday’s controversial defeat at D.C. United. Guzman will hope to feature quickly for Columbus under his former head coach, helping to turn the season around for the Crew.
Massive Report will have more on this trade and Guzman.