Early in the 2023 season, New York City FC traded Malte Amundsen to the Columbus Crew for General Allocation Money, or GAM. The left-back was barely getting playing time, and supporters knew he was out of favor with Nick Cushing after Kevin O'Toole won out and started most of the games at the end of 2022.
Hence, it was not surprising that NYCFC made the trade. Sadly, Amundsen's time in the Big Apple was meant to end. While he had had some good moments, his time can best be described as average. He never became the attacking left-back the Pigeons needed like Gudmundur Thórarinsson or Ronald Matarrita.
Of course, Amundsen was a part of the MLS Cup winning squad in 2021. Alas, there was no question he needed a change in scenery, so the trade to Columbus was right for the defender and NYCFC.
Malte Amundsen's trade has worked out well for him
In fact, the former NYCFC player has done well with his new team. He only scored one goal during his time in the Bronx and Queens. However, he has scored four goals in Major League Soccer with the Crew, including a playoff goal during the last match against Atlanta United FC in the first round.
He has also improved as an attacking left-back, for he is more of a threat in the final third compared to his time in New York City. Moreover, his passing is better. In the 2022 regular season, 77.7% of his passes were successful. With Columbus in 2023, his successful passing percentage was 88.1%.
Truthfully, it is not easy to know whether Amundsen would have succeeded if Will Sands had not torn his ACL. James Sands' brother began the season as the starting left-back, but when the season-ending injury occurred, it gave the Danish player an opportunity.
Amundsen did not look back. He started in 21 of his 22 regular season games with the Crew. In addition, he has started in all five playoff games.
After his success, some might question whether the left-back should have stayed and played with NYCFC. The answer is no. He needed a change, and the Crew was the perfect fit. If he would have stayed, then he would have had limited playing time. Plus, it happens all the time in sports. Sometimes, a team is not the best fit, so a player will move elsewhere and succeed.
New York City FC fans should be happy for Amundsen. It did not completely work out with the Pigeons, but at least he is in a city where he can shine.