Gregg Berhalter says Columbus Crew in market for striker after Dominic Oduro trade
Dominic Oduro never scored under Gregg Berhalter.
Oduro had made 11 scoreless appearances for the Columbus Crew in 2014, and it seems that the first-year head coach's patience had worn out. The team's leading scorer in 2013 was traded Friday to rivals Toronto FC for Alvaro Rey and other undisclosed considerations.
"[Oduro] was trying to work it out," Berhalter told MLSsoccer.com by phone Friday. "He was never negative in the group, and he was always a good person a delight to have on the training field.
“But what we asked him to do was different for him. ... We felt like it was the right time to make a move and put him in a situation where it could complement his skill set more."
Berhalter hinted that Oduro wasn't pleased with his stature in the team, where he was obviously not guaranteed a start with Jairo Arrieta getting a large portion of playing time up top.
"He was a big personality within the league, and I think he was struggling a little bit with coming to terms with his role in the team," Berhalter said.
After a career season in 2013, Oduro presumably got a large raise in the offseason when Berhalter and his staff decided to re-sign him. And despite trading him away months later, Berhalter said he's still happy he made the deal.
"When you have an opportunity to sign a guy who scored 13 goals in MLS, it's valuable, it's worth something," Berhalter said. "We had the threat that we were going to lose him to some other country, so it made a lot sense, and he had a lot of upside in this group.
"It didn't work out how we thought, but it gave us a player with a lot of interest. Other teams had a lot of interest in him, and now we're happy with what we ended up getting."
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The Crew now only have Arrieta and rookie Adam Bedell as out-and-out forwards on their roster. And while Berhalter said that both Ethan Finlay and Justin Meram can be considered up top, "from a depth chart standpoint," the team is still light on forwards. And after clearing up more cap room with the Oduro deal, he admitted the Crew will be in the market for a striker.
"We want to bring in someone who can help the club, and that's our focus," Berhalter said. "We've been preparing the salary cap in that way, so I would expect that we would be in the market for someone in that position."