Crew won't bring defensive stalwart Miranda back for 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sebastián Miranda, the Crew's most durable defender the past two years, will not be back in 2013, according to technical director Brian Bliss.

The club did not pick up his option and unsuccessfully tried to reach a new deal with the 32-year-old right back. Reports from Miranda's native Chile indicate he will sign with his former club Universidad Católica.

"At this point, we've kind of broken things off and are going in another direction," Bliss told on Wednesday.

Miranda played 97 percent of the total available minutes (5,926 of 6,120) during the 2011 and '12 regular seasons and started all but one of 68 matches. He played all 34 games in his first year with the club, sitting only 16 minutes, after replacing veteran defender and club icon Frankie Hejduk.

Bliss said the Crew held contract talks with Miranda before he returned to Chile in November.

"We had an offer out there and we were unable to reach an agreement before he left," Bliss said. "We left it as is and didn't pursue it after that."

If Miranda does sign with Católica, he will not be joined, at least immediately, by Columbus midfielder Milovan Mirosevic, a longtime friend and fellow Chilean.

He, too, has been linked to a return to his former club, but Mirosevic, 32, is under contract with the Crew through the 2013 season and a transfer would require a fee paid by the purchasing club.

"Yeah, I expect him back," Bliss said. "He has a contract. This was somewhat of  surprise to us, the Internet reports and all that. I expect him to be at preseason. I talked to his agent before Christmas. He actually called to refute the article."