Reports of Columbus Crew SC acquiring midfielder Emmanuel Boateng from D.C. United have been confirmed. After Steve Goff of the Washington Post first reported the news earlier this week, the Crew confirmed on Friday that the team sent defender Axel Sjoberg to D.C. in exchange for Boateng.
“Emmanuel is a veteran, dynamic player who brings eight years of professional experience to our club, and we are excited to welcome him to Columbus,” Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in the release announcing the trade. “We believe Emmanuel’s speed on the flank and his familiarity with MLS makes him a valuable addition to our roster. We also want to thank Axel for his time with Crew SC, and we wish him the best in the next chapter of his career.”
As Bezbatchenko noted, Boateng boasts eight years of experience in Major League Soccer, playing for both the LA Galaxy and United.
Boateng, 26, was acquired by the Galaxy in January of 2016. The winger went on to make 108 regular season appearances, with 65 starts, while scoring nine goals and adding 13 assists. After making 17 starts in 26 games played, and scoring two goals and registering five assists in LA’s run to the MLS Cup playoffs in his first year, Boateng had his best MLS season in 2017, featuring 34 times, 29 starts, and contributing four goals and two assists.
Over the next two seasons, Boateng saw his minutes begin to decrease, making 27 appearances, 12 starts, in 2018 and 21 games played, seven starts, in 2019 before the trade to D.C.
Boateng moved to United in August of 2019 for $250,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. He quickly got on the field for his new side as a substitute but played only two more times for Ben Olsen’s club that season. Boateng did not feature for United in five regular season or MLS is Back games this year.
Prior to his time in MLS, Boateng, a graduate of Ghana’s Right to Dream Academy, played three seasons for Swedish side Helsingborgs IF, making 37 appearances and scoring four goals. Boateng played soccer at UC Santa Barbara for one year and also played for USL Premier Development League side Ventura County Fusion.
This move marks the second made by the Crew on Friday. The Black & Gold acquired central defender Grant Lillard from Inter Miami earlier in the day.
“Today we made a pair of trades, adding Emmanuel Boateng from D.C. United as well as acquiring defender Grant Lillard from Inter Miami FC,” Bezbatchenko said. “I want to thank our technical director Pat Onstad and scouting and player personnel groups for working hard to complete these transactions coming off our time in Orlando. As (head coach Caleb Porter) and his staff prepare for the continuation of our MLS regular season next week, we look forward to integrating both Emmanuel and Grant into our club. We aim to remain hungry and humble as we build off of the team’s performance to date.”