The Columbus Crew made official the rumored transfer of defender Giancarlo Gonzalez to Palermo of the Italian Serie A in a Tuesday announcement.
Per club and MLS policy, details of the deal were not disclosed.
Costa Rican daily Al Dia, first reported that Gonzalez was acquired on a a four-year deal. The Crew acquired Gonzalez in February after a spell at Norwegian side Valerenga and he started all 17 matches he played for Columbus.
“We would like to thank Giancarlo for his professionalism and dedication to our organization during his time in Columbus, and we wish him every success on his next career journey in Serie A,” Crew sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter said in a statement. “Our club prides itself on creating a player-first culture where our soccer environment can improve the value of our players. This was the case with Giancarlo following his strong performances in MLS and throughout the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
"In the short-term, we are disappointed to part with a player of Giancarlo’s ability, but in the long-term this move allows us to accelerate our on-field vision. We have a strategic plan in-place to become a high-performance club, to strengthen our global scouting network and to continue developing our Academy. Our ownership is very supportive of this approach and today’s deal gives us the ability to accelerate that process.”
Gonzalez scored one goal during his time in Columbus, a tally in his final game as a member of the Crew. He made his MLS debut in the 2014 season-opener against D.C. United and started the next 10 matches of the season before being named to the Costa Rican national team for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. There, he played every minute of his team’s historic run to the quarterfinals.
He also converted his spot-kick during penalties to help his team advance past Greece in the Round of 16 on June 29 and then repeated the feat in the Ticos' shootout loss to the Netherlands in the quarterfinals on July 5, 2014.
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Gonzalez returned to the Crew lineup after the tournament and scored his first career goal in MLS on Saturday in the club’s 4-1 win over the LA Galaxy. Prior to joining the Crew, Gonzalez also spent time with Alajuelense of Costa Rica’s Primera Division.