·3 August 2023
·3 August 2023
The Crew have signed the Uruguay international from Turkish outfit Fenerbahce, and the 25-year-old joins as a Designated Player (taking up the DP slot that Zelarayan left) and has signed through the 2026 season with an option for the following season.
Rossi first joined the Turkish side on a loan deal in September 2021 before making his move permanent last summer. While playing in Europe for Fenerbahce, Rossi made 90 appearances and scored 10 goals in all competitions.
Before his overseas move, Rossi was a standout performer in MLS with LAFC, scoring 59 goals in 121 games in all competitions. Now, the versatile forward returns to a league he's familiar with, and is set to join the high-flying Crew that already has the likes of Christian Ramirez, Juan 'Cucho' Hernandez, and the newly acquired Julian Gressel - despite the loss of Zelarayan - which is expected to be filled by Rossi.
"Diego is a winner and an exciting, skillful player, and we are excited to welcome him to the Crew," Columus general manager and president Tim Bezbatchenko said. "He has a natural ability to score and create goals, and he has further demonstrated his exceptional quality over the past few seasons while competing in Europe."
"Diego is a great addition to our dynamic attack, and as importantly, he is a true fit for our club’s desired culture and style of play."
While it will be tough to fill the fan favorite Zelarayan's shoes, if there was a player to do so, it would be Rossi. It was a bit of a head scratcher to see the 31-year-old leave Lower.com Field, but it may end up being a savvy decision in the long run given that Rossi is younger and has many more years left in the tank.
The Crew have big aspirations for 2023, as they sit sixth in the Eastern Conference with 36 points and are into the round of 32 in the Leagues Cup as they take on Minnesota United on August 4. Rossi will be key to the two-time MLS Cup champions' silverware aspirations as the second half of the season unfolds.