Berhalter confims Giancarlo Gonzalez exit

After just 17 appearances for the MLS team, the Costa Rican defender is off to join Serie A side Palermo.
Columbus Crew defender Giancarlo Gonzalez is set to sign for Italian club Palermo, club coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed Sunday.

The 26-year-old center back was thrust into the international spotlight after a strong World Cup performance in which he helped Costa Rica to a quarterfinal place, and the Serie A team is willing to pay a reported $5 million for his services, an MLS record for a defender.

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Berhalter sees the influx of cash as an opportunity to invest in the club.

"Believe me, this is something that you don't pass up, bar none," the former U.S. international said. "When this type of offer comes around, you take it. I think that, for us, it's a game-changer in terms of what we're able to do now with the structure of the club and what we're able to do with prospective players.

"Financially, we now have a big chunk of allocation to work with, which helps with the long-term building of your team ... that backing that lets you go above and beyond the salary cap. So we have that for some years to come."

Gonzalez was in his first year with the Crew, joining fom Norwegian side Valeranga before the 2014 season.