The Colorado Rapids announced today they have signed French winger Nicolas Benezet, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa. The club acquired the rights to Benezet from Toronto FC in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and an additional $50,000 in GAM if Benezet starts 75 percent of all games in 2020.
“We’re delighted to add to our attack someone of Nicolas’ quality,” said Pádraig Smith, Colorado Rapids Executive Vice President & General Manager. “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.”
Benezet joins the Rapids after playing a key role in helping Toronto FC reach their third MLS Cup final in four seasons. The 28-year-old arrived on loan from Guingamp of France’s Ligue 2 midway through the 2019 season and started all four playoffs games for Toronto, scoring a key goal against Atlanta United in the Eastern Conference Final.
Prior to his time in Canada, Benezet spent four seasons with Guingamp where he made 86 combined appearances, registering 12 goals and 10 assists over four seasons with the club. The Montpellier native was part of the squad that finished runners-up in the 2018-19 Coupe de la Ligue.
Benezet made his professional debut with Nimes Olympique making 59 appearances with the club, recording 11 goals and 12 assists over three seasons in Ligue 1. After his time with Nîmes, the winger joined club Évian (French League 1), where he made 42 appearances in two seasons. Benezet went on loan to SM Caen in 2015, appearing in 12 matches and scoring four goals.
The Rapids kick off their 25th MLS season on February 29 at D.C. United before hosting their first game of the season at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park on March 7.
TRANSACTION: Colorado Rapids acquire the rights to winger Nicolas Benezet from Toronto FC in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and an additional $50,000 in GAM if Benezet starts 75 percent of all games in 2020.
Full Name: Nicolas Benezet
Pronunciation: nik-uh-luhs ben-eh-ZAY
Weight: 132 lbs.
Birth Date: February 24, 1991
Birthplace: Montpellier, France
Last Club: Toronto FC