One of Columbus Crew SC's most familiar faces may not be long for the Black and Gold. In comments Thursday to the Columbus Dispatch, veteran playmaker Federico Higuain said that the 2017 season – his sixth in Columbus – would be his last.
“I don’t know what will happen, but I think it’s the finish of the cycle, you know?” said Higuain. “I’m sure the Columbus Crew will not lose too much without me — but maybe another team in or out of the United States will win something.
He added: “It’s my decision. It’s mine because what I gave to this team, for me, was good. ... I don’t know. It’s tough.”
Higuain, 32, has registered 48 regular-season goals with Crew SC, good for third on the club's all-team chart, as well as 40 assists. Head coach Gregg Berhalter said Higuain “has always been a big part of this team” and said he hoped Columbus could come to a resolution with the Argentine.
“I don’t think this is abnormal. Any player in his age profile always is concerned about their future and I think that’s perfectly normal,” Berhalter said. “We want to discuss it and it’s something we will discuss.
“I think hopefully we’ll be able to solve it sooner rather than later, but it’s something where we’re focused on the transfer window and winning games.”
Higuain is one of two players occupying Designated Player spots on the Crew SC roster and is the team's highest-paid player. In addition to his prolific goalscoring output over the years, he was instrumental in guiding the team to the 2015 MLS Cup title game, where they fell to the Portland Timbers.
Higuain, who has nine goals and five assists to his name in 2017, has not featured in the club's last three games due to a sprained knee, but was upgraded to questionable for Saturday's game at San Jose (10:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE).