Freshly minted Columbus Crew sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter made the first hire to his new coaching staff on Wednesday, adding longtime MLS and US national team star Josh Wolff to the fold.
Wolff, 36, spent last season as an assistant coach with D.C. United after he retired from the game in November 2012. He played the final year of his 14-year MLS career with D.C. United in 2012 but was limited to just nine appearances as a player/coach under head coach Ben Olsen.
Wolff and Berhalter were teammates with Germany’s 1860 Munich in 2007 and 2008, and both were on the USMNT’s 2006 World Cup roster.
Wolff helped put Crew Stadium on the map globally in February 2001 when he subbed on for injured Crew legend Brian McBride in the 15th minute and proceeded to score the game-winning goal and record an assist in the inaugural “Dos a Cero” victory over Mexico in FIFA World Cup qualifying.
“In Josh, we are adding a coach with a very good eye for offensive development,” Berhalter said in a statement. “He will complement the coaching staff nicely as he’s a young coach with a bright mind and a playing career that demonstrated his intelligence on the field.”
The Crew also announced Wednesday that they have named Asher Mendelsohn as director of soccer operations. Mendelsohn had been serving as U.S. Soccer’s director of referees, coaching administration and Development Academy programs.
Mendelsohn spent nine years with the USSF, serving in various roles for the organization and serving for three years as the manager of the development academy before he took on his more expansive recent role.
In 2012, he was instrumental in Major League Soccer’s formation of the Professional Referee Organization (PRO), the group responsible for managing the referee program in professional soccer leagues in the United States and Canada.
Mendelsohn is tasked with overseeing the Crew’s competition guidelines and salary cap management, player identification and acquisitions, as well as assisting with the implementation of the club’s technical vision.
“Asher is very familiar with the soccer landscape of America, having worked at different levels in U.S. Soccer,” Berhalter said. “He’s bright, hard-working and brings an analytical mind that will be integral to our technical staff.”