Columbus Crew including Romanian midfielder Alexandru Matan on switch

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The crew completed a transfer for the attacking midfielder Alexandru Matan from the Romanian association FC Viitorul Constantaa league source told The Dispatch.

The crew paid for 21-year-old Matan, who signed a multi-year contract and will make an immediate contribution this season from the bank and at times as a starter, a transfer fee of around 1.8 million US dollars, spread over several years.

Matan is not expected to occupy any of the club’s three designated player slots.

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As soon as he has received his P-1 visa and his international transfer certificate, he will train with the crew in the preseason and fill an international roster place.

Pro sport and The journalist Emanuel Rosu, who lives in Romania reported the first link and transfer fee between Matan and the crew at the end of February. Just recently the deal was officially closed between the crew and Viitorul.

Matan gives the crew stability in the central position of the attacking midfielder – or # 10 – and added depth on the wings.

At the starter and MLS Cup MVP Lucas Zelarayan was out last season, the crew had either Darlington Nagbe or Pedro Santos move from their natural positions to the No. 10 role. With more midweek games due this season Concacaf Champions LeagueZelarayan can’t be expected to play every game, so the crew looked for a young player as backup # 10 who can develop in this position.

Matan can also earn playing time when wing midfielders are on international service. It’s possible the crew has named three of their top four wingers – Kevin Molino, Derrick Etienne Jr. and Luis Diaz – to the national team. Matan can play on either the left or right wing.

Since joining Viitorul in 2016 from the Gheorghe Hagi Academy in Romania, Matan has played 66 games with 45 starts and scored five goals with 12 assists in all competitions.

He spent the 2019-20 season on loan in the Romanian League 1 at FC Voluntari and scored a goal with two assists in 26 games with 22 starts. In the 2020/21 season, Viitorul took 10th place. Matan played 22 games and scored one goal with six assists.

Matan is still a largely unproven gamer, but he is an attack threat that the crew believe can now deliver production in a more reserved role with the potential to be a quality starter in the league for several years.

Matan qualifies as a U-22 initiative player

At the age of 21, Matan qualifies as a player who can be named as part of the Major League Soccer U-22 player initiative, which enables clubs to spend an unlimited amount on a transfer fee for a player who is 23 years or older this league season getting younger.

According to The athleteA U-22 player’s salary cannot be higher than the maximum player salary, which is $ 612,500 for 2021. The U-22 initiative is beneficial for teams because the player’s influence on the team’s budget is only $ 150,000 if the player is 20 years old or younger, and it is $ 200,000 if a player is older.

As part of the U-22 initiative, MLS seeks to encourage teams to spend money on younger players who have the potential to be sold for profit to larger clubs in other leagues, while increasing the talent pool in MLS.

The number of U-22 youth player slots depends on how many specific players can be purchased with Targeted Allotment Money (TAM).

Zelarayan is the only player selected by the crew whose salary cannot be bought up at TAM, so that the crew can have up to three players in youth player slots.

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