Yet another Columbus Crew player is not returning for the 2013 season. A few days ago, the Crew confirmed that right-back Sebastian Miranda will definitely not be with the team this year. Yesterday, forward Emilio Renteria was added to that list.
Renteria joined the Crew during the 2009 season. He contributed right away, scoring a goal in Puerto Rico against the Islanders which helped Columbus become the only MLS team to advance out of the 2009-2010 CONCACAF Champions League group stages. Here are the highlights from that game, including Renteria’s goal:
The burly Venezuelan’s best season came in 2011 when he partnered up front with the one and only Andres Mendoza (Viva Mendoza!). Renteria scored 8 goals and dished out 2 assists in only 18 games that year.
Although Renteria’s biggest downfall during his tenure with the Crew was injury problems, he did appear in 27 games last season, picking up 3 goals and 3 assists. He was mainly deployed on the right wing after the mid-season addition of forward Jairo Arrieta. While in Columbus, Renteria scored a total of 20 goals in all competitions (MLS, CCL, and U.S. Open Cup).
The Crew lose a versatile player with incredible late-game effectiveness and their best backup striker in Renteria. I would have liked to see him and Arrieta paired together at least once with Federico Higuain feeding the duo through balls, but it was not to be.
Columbus head coach Robert Warzycha had this to say about Renteria on the Crew’s website:
“He wanted to do something back home in Venezuela. Actually, we offered him a contract and he didn’t take it. We haven’t had a conversation with him the last couple of weeks. At this point we have to prepare to go forward without Emilio.”
I will not lie; Renteria has been my favorite Crew player since he joined the club. I have always been fond of him, as evident from this article I wrote well over a year ago. I even took the time to paint and draw him a couple times, always focusing on his unique and fascinating goal celebrations. Be Massive, El Toro Negro.