Transfer Tracker

Diego Rossi returns! Columbus Crew sign former LAFC star

Diego Rossi CLB transfer


The Columbus Crew have made one of the biggest splashes of the MLS summer transfer window, announcing Wednesday they've brought forward Diego Rossi back to the league.

The Uruguay international arrives from Turkish Süper Lig club Fenerbahçe and he will be a Designated Player in Columbus. His deal runs through the 2026 MLS season with an option for 2027.

Rossi, a former LAFC star, joins the Crew two days after they transferred star player and leading scorer Lucas Zelarayán to the Saudi Pro League. That deal set off concerns among Columbus' fans, but the club's front office acted swiftly to create a new DP trio with Rossi, striker Cucho Hernández and midfielder Darlington Nagbe.

"Diego is a winner and an exciting, skillful player, and we are excited to welcome him to the Crew," club president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a release. "He has a natural ability to score and create goals, and he has further demonstrated his exceptional quality over the past few seasons while competing in Europe. Diego is a great addition to our dynamic attack, and as importantly, he is a true fit for our club’s desired culture and style of play."

Rossi, 25, rose to stardom while playing for LAFC from 2018-21 after his arrival from Uruguayan side Peñarol. He ultimately recorded 48 goals and 21 assists in 104 regular-season appearances for the Black & Gold, memorably scoring the first goal in club history.

While at LAFC, Rossi was named a two-time MLS All-Star (2019, '21) and in 2020 captured the following trio of awards: the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi, MLS Young Player of the Year and MLS Best XI.

Rossi eventually joined Fenerbahçe from LAFC in September 2021, initially on loan before securing a permanent deal. He departs the Turkish giants with 10 goals and 20 assists in 90 appearances across all competitions.

In Columbus, Rossi joins the league's highest-scoring offense (45 goals scored) as Columbus seek an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs return under new head coach Wilfried Nancy. Their free-flowing attack was previously spearheaded by Zelarayán, Hernández and striker Christian Ramirez – pushing the club to sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Crew's deadline-day move continues a busy summer window for the club, with US international midfielder/defender Julian Gressel and center backs Yevhen Cheberko and Rudy Camacho also joining Nancy's project.