Columbus Crew SC has been busy making movies ever since the Major League Soccer trade window opened last week. After acquiring two new pieces on Friday, the Black & Gold announced a trade with FC Cincinnati for midfielder Fatai Alashe. The Crew will send a second-round pick in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft back to Cincinnati. FC Cincy will also receive $50,000 in General Allocation Money for the 2021 MLS season from Columbus if Alashe meets certain performance conditions.
“We would like to welcome Fatai Alashe to Columbus Crew SC,” Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in the press release. “Fatai brings a half a dozen years of experience in MLS at just 26 and we believe he is a player who will help increase our depth in the center of the pitch and will add to the competition at the central midfield position. We are excited to incorporate him into the team and look forward to seeing his contributions as we prepare for the continuance of the MLS regular season this week.”
Alashe, 26, was selected No. 4 overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft by the San Jose Earthquakes. He featured 85 times over four seasons in San Jose, scoring six goals and adding three assists, before the midfielder was sent to Cincinnati, then of the USL, on loan and joined the club full time via a trade for $135,000 in allocation money that offseason.
In a year and a half with FC Cincinnati, Alshe 14 appearances, four starts, and scored one goal. The midfielder featured three times for FC Cincy so far this season.
Alashe’s first two seasons of his professional career were his most productive. In each of those seasons, the midfielder played in 28 games, starting 27, for the Earthquakes and managed two goals and two assists in 2015 and three goals and one assist the following year.
Prior to being selected into MLS, Alashe played at Michigan State from 2011-14. He made 85 appearances, 69 starts, for the Spartans, scoring 15 goals and registering 15 assists. Alashe was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in 2011, the Big Ten All-Tournament Team in 2013, was a second-team NSCAA All-American (2014) and to the All-Midwest Region Team in 2014.
Alashe has played on the international level for the United States Under-23 team, making 10 appearances and scoring two goals. He was called into the U.S. Men’s National Team January camp in 2016 but had to withdraw due to injuries.
After Monday’s news Alshe joins winger Emmanuel Boateng and central defender Grant Lillard as the newest members of the Black & Gold. The Crew completed trades with D.C. United for Boateng and Inter Miami for Lillard late last week.
Columbus returns to the field after the MLS is Back Tournament for the first time on Thursday when the Black & Gold welcome the Chicago Fire to MAPFRE Stadium.