They just battled it out for the 2015 MLS Cup but that doesn't mean that Columbus Crew SC and the Portland Timbers couldn't strike up a trade on Friday.
They traded for Crew SC fullback Chris Klute in exchange for general allocation money. Per club and MLS policy, additional details of the transaction were not disclosed.
“Chris is an experienced MLS defender that also has a big upside, similar to when we acquired Jorge Villafana two years ago,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager of the Timbers in a release.
A native of Grand Prairie, Texas, Klute made 57 appearances with the Rapids from 2012-2014, including an MLS-career high 31 appearances (30 starts) during the 2013 campaign – his first full season in the league. Klute has recorded eight assists in his MLS career, including seven during a breakout 2013 season in which he earned the Rapids’ Defender of the Year award.
“Chris will be an ideal fit in our system,” said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. “He is a balanced player on both sides of the ball, very athletic and can stop guys 1-v-1 while also providing width in the attack. With a fresh start and role that suits his strengths, we feel Chris can become one of the most effective left backs in the league. He is also capable of playing on the right side which helps cover our depth for international call-ups and CCL matches.”
Klute emerged onto the MLS scene during the Colorado Rapids' playoff run in 2013 when he mainly played left back. Over the past two seasons he has played both fullback positions interchangeably.
Klute made 14 appearances (eight starts) this season with Columbus after being acquired from the Colorado Rapids in a trade at the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. He made an additional appearance for the Black & Gold with a start in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 at Orlando City SC on June 30. Over his MLS career, the Grand Prairie, Texas native has made 71 appearances (63 starts), registering eight assists.
“We’d like to thank Chris for his contributions to our backline and our club in 2015,” said Crew SC Sporting Director and head coach Gregg Berhalter in a release. “This transaction will provide Chris an opportunity to gain valuable playing time while providing Crew SC with salary cap flexibility for the 2016 campaign.”