After spending the first half of the year without a club, Dilly Duka is back in MLS.
Columbus Crew SC announced on Monday that they signed Duka after requiring his right of first refusal from the Montreal Impact. In exchange, Columbus sent General Allocation Money, Targeted Allocation Money and their second-round pick in the 2017 SuperDraft to Montreal.
This will be the second stint in Columbus for Duka, who was drafted by Crew SC with the eighth overall pick in the 2010 SuperDraft. He spent the second half of 2014 and all of 2015 with Montreal, scoring five goals and adding five assists in 41 regular season appearances – 31 of which were starts – for the Impact.
Duka’s previous contract expired following the 2015 season and he and the Impact were not able to agree to a deal to bring the New Jersey native back to Montreal.
“We are excited to welcome Dilly back to Columbus Crew SC,” Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter said in a statement released by the club. “Dilly is a dynamic, offensive player who can play a number of positions and we look forward to seeing him adapt to our style of play.”
Duka was with Columbus from 2010 through 2012, scoring two goals and recording five assists in 45 regular season appearances with the club. He spent a year-and-a-half with the Chicago Fire between his first stint with Columbus and his tenure in Montreal, and has 11 goals and 13 assists in 123 career MLS appearances.
He joins a Crew SC team besieged by injuries and struggling to replicate the form that netted the club an appearance at MLS Cup 2015. Columbus traded away star striker Kei Kamara in May following a public spat over a penalty kick and are currently without Designated Player midfielder Federico Higuain and starting center back Gaston Sauro due to injury.
Columbus, who are in ninth place in the East following their scoreless draw against Montreal on Saturday, will return to action on Saturday at home against the New York Red Bulls (7:30 pm ET; MLS LIVE).