OBETZ, Ohio – After being released June 30 by Sporting Kansas City, Alex Martinez has found a trial spot with the Columbus Crew.
Head coach Gregg Berhalter said he likes what he’s seen from the Uruguayan, who has been with the club for three training sessions.
“He has done pretty good,” Berhalter said. “He’s a nice kid, dynamic. He played central mid for [Sporting Kansas City], he can play wide. He’s good. He has a good attitude, so it’s good to see him. I’ve been impressed, he’s done well, he’s hung in there.”
Berhalter characterized Martinez as “on trial” with the Crew, but said he’s not being considered as a first-team player despite his 10 appearances for Kansas City, including three starts.
“He’s a player potentially for the supplemental roster, so we’re going to look at that and see how that fits,” he said.
Martinez isn’t the only player the Crew are looking at.
Berhalter confirmed after Thursday’s training session that the club is considering making moves now that the summer transfer window is open.
“We talked about adding a player or two, and that’s our focus,” he said. “It’s just about adding the right guy.”
But Berhalter didn’t make any guarantees, and noted that nothing is imminent.
“We’re working,” he said. “You want to be thorough, you want to do your work, you want to get good value. So it’s something we’re working through. It’s not an easy proposition.”
Once again, Berhalter declined to name a specific target or even specify a position, despite the team’s need for a striker.
“We’re looking at all areas of our team and focusing on where we need to strengthen and adding those spots,” he said.
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Berhalter also addressed the rumored interest from other clubs for Costa Rican Giancarlo Gonzalez, whose breakout World Cup has some speculating that a big-money move could be in store. The Crew boss said rumors are just that – rumors.
“The thing about soccer is that these transfer rumors are all over the place,” he said. “You guys come to me with players and say, ‘are you guys talking to them?’ And we haven’t even heard of the guy. There were a couple great ones you guys sprung on me. So I’m sure that’s happening all over with him as well.”