Columbus Crew have announced the transfer of defender Jonathan Mensah to fellow Major League Soccer club San Jose Earthquakes.
Crew said they had acquired $500,000 worth of General Allocation Money (GAM) from the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for the Ghanaian.
This trade will see the Crew receive a guaranteed $100,000 in 2023 GAM and another $100,000 in 2024 GAM. There’s also the potential for an additional $300,000 in GAM, dependent on the achievement of specific performance metrics.
Mensah, 32, departs from the Crew after a successful six-year stint with the club, where he helped them win both the 2020 MLS Cup and the 2021 Campeones Cup. The defender was in the last year of his contract with the Columbus Crew, making his departure a significant one.
“Above all, we want to thank Jonathan for his contributions to the Crew and the Columbus community on-and-off the field since joining the Club in 2017. He is truly the consummate professional, a great teammate and an even better person. Jonathan will always remain an important part of our Club’s history, including winning MLS Cup 2020 together, and we wish him and his wife Kafui all the best in the future,” said Crew President & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko.
“This was certainly a difficult decision to make as we assessed our roster throughout the preseason heading into the 2023 campaign. This opportunity materialized and we felt would give us flexibility to promote players from within the Club and add new players from the outside, in the short term and long term.”
Mensah has been a key player for the Columbus Crew since joining the club in 2017. Over the course of his six seasons with the team, he made 159 regular-season appearances, starting 155 of those games and scoring seven goals while contributing three assists. Mensah also started in all 12 of his postseason appearances.
In 2020, he was named the team’s captain and led the Crew to a historic victory in the MLS Cup final, securing a 3-0 win – the largest margin of victory in the tournament’s history. The following year, he scored a crucial header in the 74th minute, helping the Crew claim their second trophy in consecutive years with a 2-0 victory over Cruz Azul in the 2021 Campeones Cup.
Mensah’s impressive performances on the field earned him recognition as the team’s Defender of the Year for three consecutive seasons from 2018 to 2020. Off the field, he has made a positive impact both in the Columbus community and in his home country of Ghana. In 2017, he was honoured as the Crew’s OhioHealth Humanitarian of the Year for his charitable efforts.