The Union purged themselves of the worst decision in the franchise's six-year history Monday when the team agreed to a mutual termination with goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi.
Arriving with much fanfare when he signed on July 30, 2014, after performing well for Algeria's World Cup team, Mbolhi was a major disappointment, compiling a 1-4-4 record in his unmemorable stint.
He played the first five games this year, allowing nine goals, but then Mbolhi and the team had a parting of the ways. The Union tried to sell him and earn a transfer fee but found no takers.
A Union official said that Mbolhi was as eager to leave as the Union were to have him go out the door, knowing he needed to get back onto the field. Mbolhi, 29, has signed with Antalyaspor of Turkey.
Even though the Union did not receive a transfer fee for Mbolhi, it was a great financial benefit to part ways. The team could have lost much more money had Mbolhi stayed on their books. As reported previously by The Inquirer, Mbolhi had two years left on his contract past this season.
The MLS Players Union listed his guaranteed salary this year at $350,000. With eight games left in the 34-game season, the Union will save almost a quarter of that salary this year and not have to pay him the next two seasons.
The move also frees up a coveted international slot for the Union. MLS teams receive eight such slots but are able to deal them. The Union traded one to Houston in the Sheanon Williams deal on July 23.
So the Union have seven international slots at the moment but now have six international players on the roster with Mbolhi's departure.
The beginning of Mbolhi's downfall can be traced to Oct. 2 in a 1-1 draw with the visiting Chicago Fire. He made an errant pass in second-half stoppage time that led to the tying goal.
Things got progressively worse from there. Mbolhi and the team agreed on little from that point until the mutual termination.