Chris Cadden’s time with the Columbus Crew is over. After reports of a move away from the team following just one season with the Black & Gold surfaced shortly the Crew’s 2020 season, the club announced on Friday that Cadden has completed a transfer.
The defender is on his way to Scottish Premier League side Hibernian Football Club. News of this move was previously reported by Edinburgh Sport reporter Moira Gordon but now is complete. As part of the transfer, the Black & Gold will retain a percentage of any future transfer fee Hibernian receives for Cadden.
“We would like to thank Chris for his time with Columbus Crew SC as he enters the next chapter of his career,” Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. “We are appreciative of Chris’ contributions and professionalism to the Club during our 2020 MLS Cup Championship run and wish him all the best moving forward.”
While Cadden played only one season with the Crew, he was actually signed by the club in the summer of 2019 after his contract with Motherwell expired. Due to the Major League Soccer roster restrictions, Columbus had no room for Cadden at the time and sent the fullback on loan to English third division side Oxford United for the rest of the year.
Despite Oxford’s attempts to keep him longer and Motherwell asking for further compensation, Cadden joined the Black & Gold for preseason ahead of the 2020 season. Signed as a potential successor to Harrison Afful at the Crew’s right fullback position, Cadden played sporadically for Columbus in his one year in MLS.
After making his debut in the season-opening game against New York City FC in early March — coming on for three minutes as a midfielder against the Pidgeons — Cadden saw action just seven more times throughout the year. The defender started just three games in the regular season — against the New York Red Bulls at the MLS is Back Tournament and versus New York City and D.C. United in the regular season — and totaled 353 minutes. Cadden had one appearance in the MLS Cup playoffs, a four-minute cameo on the Crew’s way to becoming MLS Cup champions.
With Cadden departing, the Black & Gold will now need to find another fullback to backup Afful. Massive Report was told that this is a priority this offseason, specifically in finding a player who could take over the position once the 34-year-old Afful’s career in Columbus is complete.
The Crew’s current 2021 roster:
Goalkeepers (4): Evan Bush, Eric Dick, Matt Lampson, Eloy Room
Defenders (8): Harrison Afful, Waylon Francis, Aboubacar Keita, Grant Lillard, Jonathan Mensah, Milton Valenzuela, Josh Williams, Vito Wormgoor
Midfielders (9): Artur, Sebastian Berhalter, Luis Diaz, Derrick Etienne Jr., Aidan Morris, Kevin Molino, Darlington Nagbe, Pedro Santos, Lucas Zelarayan
Forwards (3): Miguel Berry, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Gyasi Zardes