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Federico Higuain to sign one-day contract, retire with the Crew

The Black & Gold legend will end his career as such.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Federico Higuain will retire as a member of the Columbus Crew, the club announced on Tuesday. Higuain, who is a three-time recipient of the club’s Most Valuable Player award, is set to sign a one-day contract with the Black & Gold on April 2 when Columbus faces off against Nashville SC and will also be honored for his contributions.

During his eight-year tenure with the Crew, the midfield maestro has accrued 193 regular season matches with 184 of those being starts. He scored 55 goals during his time in Columbus and registered 63 assists while appearing in 14 postseason matches.

Pipa, as he is affectionately known among Crew fans, finished as the Crew’s all-time leader in regular season assists and game-winning assists (20) and also ranks third in the club’s all-time regular season goals scored list and fourth in game-winning goals (12).

After he joined the Black & Gold back in July of 2012 as the team’s third Designated Player in franchise history, Higuain appeared in 13 matches (11 starts), scoring five goals and recording seven assists to close out that year. Higuain was the recipient of the 2012 MLS Newcomer of the Year award for his on-field contributions.

Higuain followed up his impressive debut season in 2013 registering a career-high 11 goals while adding nine assists in 29 appearances (all starts) which topped a team MVP season for the Argentine midfielder. In the following season, Higuain notched another 29 appearances (28 starts) while adding 11 goals more and seven assists to his name. For his play, Higuain captured the club’s Golden Boot and his second consecutive MVP award.

In 2015, Higuain played a major role in Columbus returning to, and hosting, the MLS Cup Final for the first time in seven years. That season, Higuain made 32 appearances (all starts) and scored eight goals while adding nine assists.

Higuain captured his third MVP award in 2017 after scoring nine goals and registering 11 assists in 26 appearances for the Crew.

In 2018, Higuain stepped on the field 30 times, making 27 starts. That season, he found the back of the net six times and provided nine helpers.

Higuain, made just 14 appearances in his final season in Columbus, starting 13, and scored one goal and managing five assists. He suffered a torn ACL in late May that ruled him out for the rest of the year.

After he was not retained by the Crew, Higuain signed with D.C. United. He spent less than one season in the nation’s capital before playing out the rest of his career with his brother Gonzalo Higuain at Inter Miami CF.

Higuain will be recognized for his contributions to the Crew during that April 2 game against Nashville before retiring as a member of the Black & Gold.