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From Designated Player to waivers: Rapids cut ties with Shkëlzen Gashi

Sep 22, 2018; Columbus, OH, USA; Colorado Rapids midfielder Shkelzen Gashi (11) plays the ball against Columbus Crew defender Milton Valenzuela (19) in the first half at MAPFRE Stadium. (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

With the season just a day away, the Colorado Rapids placed forward Shkëlzen Gashi on waivers.

The move means Gashi is no longer on the Rapids’ active roster ahead of Saturday’s opener against the Portland Timbers. This clears up an international spot on the roster with the MLS roster compliance deadline taking place Friday evening.

Gashi joined the Rapids before the 2016 season as a Designated Player from FC Basel in Switzerland. The Albanian international scored nine goals and had four assists in his first season in Colorado, but struggled in each of the last two.

Gashi scored two goals in both 2017 and 2018 and saw his minutes cut as well. After making 25 starts in 2016, he made 12 starts in 2017 and played fewer than half as many minutes. Last season, Gashi made just nine starts and again saw his minutes go down.

With Kei Kamara and Diego Rubio joining the Rapids attack in the offseason, Gashi could have been in line for an even smaller role in 2019.

The 30-year-old is still under contract through 2019. The Rapids will be responsible for his salary unless another team in the league claims him off waivers. According to MLS Players Association numbers, Gashi made $1.67 million in 2018.

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