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D.C. United forward Paul Arriola (7) goes down as Toronto FC midfielder Nicolas Benezet (7) chases the ball during first half MLS playoff soccer action in Toronto on Oct. 19, 2019. Toronto FC has shipped the rights to French winger Nicolas Benezet to the Colorado Rapids in exchange for US$50,000 general allocation money.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Toronto FC officially parted ways with French winger Nicolas Benezet on Tuesday, sending his rights to the Colorado Rapids in exchange for US$50,000 general allocation money.

Toronto will get another US$50,000 in GAM, depending if Benezet starts 75 per cent of all games in 2020.

The deal, which had been reported in advance, was confirmed on Tuesday.

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“We’re delighted to add to our attack someone of Nicolas’ quality,” Colorado GM Padraig Smith said in a statement. “He’s a goal-dangerous, dynamic player who excels out wide, while also offering us positional depth with his ability to play multiple positions in attack.”

The 28-year-old Frenchman joined Toronto in late July on loan from France’s Guingamp. He played in 12 games in all and started all four playoff games for Toronto, scoring the tying goal in a 2-1 comeback win over Atlanta in the Eastern Conference final.

Toronto subsequently did not exercise an option to make the loan deal permanent, with team president Bill Manning saying it would be difficult to fit the Frenchman under the salary cap.

Benezet’s 2019 salary was listed at US$600,000, although he would have received a pro-rated amount given his late arrival.

Benezet campaigned on social media to return to Toronto, but to no avail. The move to Colorado reunites him with Robin Fraser, a former Toronto assistant now in charge of the Rapids.

“Colorado Rapids see you soon baby,” Benezet tweeted.

The French winger started with the youth academy of his native Montpellier before joining Nîmes in 2010. He moved to Évian in 2013 with a loan spell at Caen before signing with Guingamp in July, 2015.

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