Aaron Schoenfeld is on the move. Why is that of interest to Columbus Crew SC fans, you ask? Because the Black & Gold still hold the rights to the American forward from Knoxville, Tennessee and he is headed back to Major League Soccer.
The Crew announced on Wednesday that the club traded the rights to Schoenfeld to Minnesota United in exchange for a second round 2021 MLS SuperDraft pick. If Schoenfeld hits certain performance-based criteria, Columbus would then receive $50,000 in Allocation Money instead of a SuperDraft selection.
Schoenfeld, 29, was originally selected by the Montreal Impact in the second round (20th overall) of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. Shortly before the start of the 2012 season, the Black & Gold traded a 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft pick to Montreal in exchange for Schoenfeld.
The 6-foot-4 forward played for the Crew for four seasons, making 51 appearances (14 starts) while scoring five goals and adding three assists. Schoenfeld’s best season in Columbus came in 2014 when he featured 15 times, starting seven games, and scoring three goals along with one assist in an MLS career-high 748 minutes.
During his time with the Black & Gold, Schoenfeld was sent on loan to the Dayton Dutch Lions. He appeared 18 times for the Lions in 2014, scoring 12 goals, a club record for a single-season goal scorer.
Following the 2015 season, Schoenfeld has a trial with Israeli club Maccabi Netanya. The trial went well and the forward signed with the team after being given temporary Israeli resident status. He made his debut for the club in January of 2016 but, after just two matches, Schoenfeld signed a two-and-half-year deal with Hapoel Tel Aviv, another Israeli side and was sold with another player for ₪1 million.
Schoenfeld made his debut with Hapoel Tel Aviv on Feb. 7, 2016 and scored the opening goal of the match in the second minute. The forward then joined Maccabi Tel Aviv a year later.
In total, Schoenfeld made 73 appearances in Israel, scoring 14 goals.
Schoenfeld now returns to MLS an older and more mature player. In Minnesota, the striker will be reunited with former Crew teammate Ethan Finlay. He will be one of four forwards on the Loons’ roster and will provide dangerous heading ability on crosses and set pieces, just as he did during his time in Columbus.