As expected since the start of the weekend, the Revolution Wednesday acquired $100,000 in General Allocation Money from the Portland Timbers in exchange for the MLS rights to French center back Claude Dielna.
The deal was first reported during SuperDraft on Friday afternoon; the deal was announced just after 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The rights transfer also comes with a stipulation: should Dielna appear on any roster in MLS other than Portland’s in 2019, the Revolution will receive an additional $100,000 in GAM from the Timbers.
On July 28, 2017, Dielna came to New England on a free transfer from English Championship -- second division -- side Sheffield Wednesday FC, signing as a Designated Player. He would make 28 appearances for New England, including 26 starts.
In 2018, Dielna was named captain at the start of the season and made 17 appearances including 15 starts for the Revolution before falling out of favor with manager Brad Friedel. He had been at the heart of the Revs’ July 14 collapse against LA Galaxy in which two Galaxy goals were scored in second-half stoppage time; a week later, Dielna had fouled New York Red Bulls youngster Tyler Adams, leading to a free kick that New York scored on for the opening goal, a 2-0 Revs defeat.
The match against the Red Bulls on July 21 was ultimately Dielna’s last appearance in a New England shirt.
On Sept. 26, Friedel had noted Dielna’s absence from the squad in an interview with BostonSportsJournal.com:
“Every single player on the roster, starting every Monday, has an opportunity to get into the squad the next weekend,” he had said. “It comes down to their attitudes in training, it comes down to their work ethic, and it also comes down to who we’re playing and tactically what we want to do.
“Claude (is) no different than any of the other players in the team. If they come out with the right attitude and work hard, absolutely they have an opportunity to get into the squad and the team … Actions will speak louder than words, in this case, so you see the squads when they’re named. When people are in and people are out it generally has to do with one or all of the factors that I just mentioned to you.”
An hour following the Revolution’s season finale against Montreal, a 1-0 win, Dielna told the press he would not play for New England in 2019: “It’s going to be somewhere else. I will not stay here next season. I have nothing to say. I said already, this was the choice of the coach, so yeah, unfortunately, I didn’t play the second part of the season,” he said. “I’m a competitor, so of course, I wanted to play. I was ready to play, so like a professional, I respect the choice… for sure, in January I will be back on the pitch with a lot of energy like I showed for one year in New England.
“This is life in football: I came here (midseason 2017), everything was well. A new coach come… and um, but I can adapt my situation with every coach. This season was a little bit frustrating for the second part of the season for me, but like I told you, I’m a competitor. I’m a soldier, and I know in January you guys will hear about me.”
A week later, on Nov. 5, the Revolution announced they had declined Dielna’s contract option for 2019; however, the club retained his MLS rights, which led to Wednesday afternoon’s transaction.
Dielna made nearly $910,000 in total compensation in 2018.