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Official: Crew trade Robinho to Orlando City for Target Allocation Money

The Black & Gold are sending the winger south after less than a year in Columbus

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Update (July 11, 9:01 a.m.): The Crew make the Robinho trade to Orlando City official. The return, in total can reach $150,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. The Black & Gold will receive $50,000 in TAM out of the gates and can receive an additional $50,000 in TAM in 2019 and $50,000 in TAM in 2020 if certain performance conditions are met.

In addition, if Orlando permanently transfers Robinho to a club outside of MLS, the Crew will retain a percentage of the future transfer fee.

Massive Report has also learned that as part of the deal, Robinho won’t play for City against the Crew on Saturday.

“We want to thank Robinho for his time with Columbus Crew SC and wish him all the best moving forward,” Crew President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in the presss release.

The original story from Massive Report from July 10 is below:

Columbus Crew SC is set to trade winger Robinho to Orlando City SC sources tell Massive Report. In exchange, the Lions will send $50,000 in Targeted Allocation Money back to Columbus. That amount could increase to $120,000 in TAM in 2020 if certain bonuses are reached according to sources. Massive Report is told the trade is set to be completed on Thursday.

This move comes less than seven months after Robinho was acquired by the Crew. Massive Report first broke the news of Robinho coming to the Black & Gold on Jan. 8 for a transfer fee of approximately $250,000. The signing was officially announced 10 days later.

Robinho got off to a slow start for the Crew, coming off the bench in each of the first two matches of the season. Head coach Caleb Porter gave the Brazilian winger his first Major League Soccer start on March 16 in a home win against FC Dallas. From there, Robinho started five straight games before coming appearing as a substitute in the April 24 win against D.C. United during a congested scheduling period.

In total, Robinho played in 19 games for the Crew, starting 13. Until the 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on July 3, the Brazilian was the only player to feature in every game for the Black & Gold in 2019. In his final appearance for Columbus — a 2-1 home loss to the Seattle Sounders on Saturday — Robinho came off the bench for 22 minutes.

While Robinho saw plenty of action for the Crew, he struggled to maintain consistent form. The winger scored no goals despite leaving Columbus second on the team in shots (33) and shots on goal (12) behind only fellow winger Pedro Santos in both categories. While he did register two assists in his Black & Gold career, Robinho has not recorded one in his last seven games played while averaging over 48 minutes per game.

Moving Robinho comes in a slew of summer moves for a struggling Crew side. After starting the season 4-0-1, the Black & Gold are 1-13-1 since March 23 and bowed out of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in the Round of 16 once again in a 3-2 home loss to Atlanta United. Injuries and national team call-ups have played a part in the team’s dismal form but losing streaks of three, four and five games are not all tied to the missing players and getting new blood in the club became a priority.

First-year president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko and first-year head coach Caleb Porter look to reshape the roster during the summer transfer window and get the train back on the tracks with 14 MLS games remaining. The Crew announced a trade for Romario Williams from Atlanta United on July 1. The next day, Columbus announced the addition of 20-year-old Costa Rican winger Luis Diaz from C.S. Herediano. On July 5, the Black & Gold signed Curacao National Team goalkeeper Eloy Room. On Wednesday, multiple reports came out that Columbus has completed a trade with Toronto FC for forward Jordan Hamilton.

While Robinho won’t bring a player back to the Crew, the move does open a needed international roster spot due to the additions of Room and Hamilton. It also helps create space for wingers such as Diaz, David Accam or Luis Argudo — the latter two who have been productive in their recent appearances — to see more playing time and frees the team of the Brazilian’s reported $198,000 salary.