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For Malte Amundsen, A Sad End, But Here’s To A Hopeful New Beginning

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Mar 4, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New York City defender Malte Amundsen (12) practices before the game against the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Covering NYCFC for now my third year, it’s always a weird feeling when player depart elsewhere. You get to know them, share laughs, at times pain, and as is often the case, they depart elsewhere never to be seen again. On a personal level, you oftentimes root for them and hope no matter where they go, they succeed.

Regarding Danish Defender Malte Amundsen, his time with NYCFC started well. A regular fixture in the backfield, either as a starter or off the bench, Malte played 59 games across 2021 & 2022, tallying nearly 3,500 playing minutes. But towards the end of the season, things changed and those minutes began to slide. Starting on September 14th of last year he was benched, and watched from the sidelines as his team won the Campeones Cup, never being able to do more on the pitch than root for his teammates.

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As a player, he said the right things. As a human, he lost confidence. Talking to people inside the organization, there was a belief that physically the skills were there, but the doubts there as well. Ironically I was supposed to meet with him last week after training, but sadly schedules didn’t mesh. I even learned some conversational Danish for it. But come to find out, less than a week later, he’s traded to Eastern Conference rival, the Columbus Crew. Columbus had a heartbreaking injury last week, after Defender Will Sands (in fact, the twin brother of NYCFC’s James Sands) tore in ACL and will miss the rest of the season. So a trade was worked out, with $400,000 to upwards of $500,000 in allocation money going to NYCFC in exchange for the 25 year old.

“Malte is a young, experienced player who has already proven his potential overseas and in MLS, including quality performances in the playoffs,” Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. “We are really familiar with his skillset and competitiveness from his time in the Eastern Conference, and we are confident he will be a strong fit within our system.”

You hear stories all the time of players who’s careers have a resurgence in a new environment. Perhaps in central Ohio, Amundsen can get that same resurgence. The talent is there, and at just 25 years old, there’s still plenty of gas left in that tank. Columbus’s attendance is on par with NYCFC, but in an environment of under one million people (compared to 8.5 million in New York City) this could be a more laid back environment for Malte to get back on track, and in so doing, start what might be a great new chapter in his soccer journey.

Held og lykke Malte, forbliv fantastisk.

About the author – Scott Churchson has been an actor in every way for the past 13 years, from BG to stand in to stunts and principal, a sports writer for the past 4 and is one of the people that created Stream Punk Entertainment. He’s married to a veterinarian, has a cat with three working legs, a mother-in-law who just moved in and is just a simple man trying to make his way in the universe.

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