MLS is Back is over and the league is yet to resume its regular season play but Columbus Crew SC is making moves after the MLS trade window opened on Wednesday. The Black & Gold will acquire winger Emmanuel Boateng from D.C. United in exchange for center back Axel Sjoberg. This news was first reported by the Washington Post’s Steven Goff.
Boateng, 26, is a five-year veteran of Major League Soccer after originally coming to the league as a member of the LA Galaxy in 2016. That year, Boateng played in 26 games, making 17 starts, while scoring two goals and registering five assists and helping the Galaxy to the MLS Western Conference semifinal. Boateng continued to feature regularly for LA over the next two seasons, making 61 appearances, 41 starts, and scoring six goals and managing seven assists.
In 2019, Boateng featured 21 times for the Galaxy but only started seven games. The winger had just one goal and one assist before he was traded to D.C. for $250,000 in Targeted Allocation Money in August of that year.
In one year with United, Boateng has played in just three games, all coming off the bench, with no goals or assists. Boateng is yet to appear for D.C. this season in five games.
Prior to coming to MLS, Boateng played for three seasons for Swedish side Helsingborgs IF, making 37 appearances and scoring four goals as a young player. The Ghanian went to UC Santa Barbara for one year and also played for USL Premier Development League side Ventura County Fusion.
The Crew signed Sjoberg off the waiver list on Dec. 4. The former Colorado Rapids center back did not play a single game with the Black & Gold after originally going on loan to USL side San Antonio FC, but returning to travel with the team for its four-game stay in the MLS is Back Tournament.
In Boateng, the Black & Gold add to the team’s depth at winger. The Crew entered the last offseason with Pedro Santos, as well as mid-year additions Luis Diaz and Youness Mokhtar. Columbus added former New York Red Bull and FC Cincinnati midfielder Derrick Etienne Jr. prior to the start of the year.
While it was a good start to the season by the Crew’s wingers, Mokhtar suffered an injury at the MLS is Back Tournament and there has been no update on his availability going forward.
As for the center back position, the Black & Gold feel comfortable with veterans Jonathan Mensah and Josh Williams, as well as second-year Homegrown player Aboubacar Keita. Vito Wormgoor, acquired in the offseason, is out with an injured ankle suffered in the first game of the MLS is Back Tournament.
The Crew is scheduled to begin Phase 1 of MLS’s regular season return to play against the Chicago Fire on Aug. 20 at MAPFRE Stadium.