Gilles Grimandi finally severs ties with MLS

French midfielder Gilles Grimandi, Colorado's main offseason signing who for weeks has refused to follow through on his commitment to the Rapids, has reached an agreement with MLS that allows him to return to France.

''The Colorado Rapids organization is deeply saddened by Gilles Grimandi's decision to return to France.'' Colorado Rapids general manger Dan Counce said. ''The player has cited family and personal reasons as the main factors influencing his decision to separate himself from the Rapids and MLS as of today.

''The Colorado Rapids, while disappointed by his choice, respect the player's personal freedom in making such a decision. Work to find a top quality replacement player has already begun.''

The agreement between Grimandi, 33, and MLS provides the Rapids with salary budget room for a top quality replacement player. Other details of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Rapids signed the former Arsenal midfielder on Jan. 7 as a discovery player. He played in one preseason game with the team March 12 against Mexican club Santos Laguna in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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