OBETZ, Ohio – With the Columbus Crew now boasting MLS’ top allocation spot, head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter said the list of potential targets for his club is “short and sweet.”
Berhalter just isn’t showing any of his cards, with just two weeks remaining in the summer transfer window, nor is he indicating just how short and how sweet that list is.
He said the player scouting process has been completed, but that doesn’t mean a deal is imminent.
“It’s every other thing that you need to finish a deal that’s still in play,” he told reporters on Thursday. “There’s a lot. You can imagine. Think about it, there could be tons of different things.”
Houston’s acquisition of USMNT veteran DaMarcus Beasley on Wednesday left the Crew with the No. 1 allocation position.
“I think it’s great,” he said of the top allocation spot. “I think there are a number of possibilities for us. You look at potential guys who could possibly be coming back, I think it’s exciting. It is putting us in position to potentially get one of those guys.”
One of those players rumored to be interested in a return to MLS is national team forward Jozy Altidore, whose disappointing spell with Sunderland in England has prompted speculation of a move back home.
But Berhalter was just as guarded on the topic of Altidore. Have the offensively challenged Crew thought about the target striker?
“In what way?” Berhalter asked. “I don’t know.”
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He said the work that remains to be done on a potential deal is more than just dotting the Is and crossing the Ts.
“Now it’s the process of finishing it, which is complicated,” Berhalter said. “I’ll be honest, there’s difficulties in bringing players to MLS and we’re working within MLS. But we’re working through it now.”
Despite a lack of certainty, Berhalter still wanted to reiterate that he believes something will get done.
“I’m confident,” he said. “I do want to stress that.”