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U.S. Men's National Team

Berhalter claims USMNT player wants to join Crew

Gregg Berhalter

Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Another U.S. Men’s National Team player may soon be joining the Columbus Crew.

Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter said following his side’s practice on Thursday morning that a representative of a U.S. player reached out to him on Wednesday. Berhalter did not identify the player, but was intrigued by the opportunity that unexpectedly presented itself to him.

“I don’t want to say names, but I got a call yesterday about a guy who wanted to specifically come to Columbus,” Berhalter told reporters. “A big national team player, and I thought that was interesting. All of a sudden we’re getting calls where people are coming to us.”

The Crew currently have the top spot in the allocation order and appear willing to use it before the summer transfer window closes on Aug. 6.

One way or the other.

“We can get anyone,” Berhalter said. “As long as ownership says, ‘Let’s do it,’ we can get anyone. We’re in the position. We play good enough football that anyone would want to come play with us. I think that spot is very valuable to us for that reason. To say that we’re just a placeholder in that, that’s not true.”

On Wednesday, the Chicago Fire confirmed interest in Jermaine Jones, and a source told SBI that the LA Galaxy were lining up a move for Sacha Kljestan. Columbus, however, would have first rights to both players if they go through the allocation process.

Columbus signed U.S. fullback Michael Parkhurst, who returned to MLS after six years in Europe, in January.

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Which “big” USMNT player do you think wants to head to Columbus? Think the Crew are just posturing before the end of the summer transfer window? Should the club make a push for either Kljestan or Jones?

Share your thoughts below.

121 comments
    • bryan

      i believe Agudelo’s rights are still with the Revs, right? they didn’t receive a transfer fee did they? Shea cost Stoke £2.5M so yeah, Shea could be the person in question since he would likely be allocated, DP or not.

      Like

  • NE Revs

    LeBron’s coming home? He does play for the US Men’s National Team during the Olympics

    Like

      • scrdad

        Matt is not a national team player. But he was born in Columbus. However his playing days are coming to an end. 3 years ago I would have endorsed him to come here.

        Like

  • Bradley's Missing Mop

    There has been a rumor about Jozy, in England, and how Sunderland would accept a loss on their fee paid last year.

    Like

    • bryan

      unless you can provide a source of the rumor that isn’t in a comment section of a website, i think it’s totally made up. Jozy is going to stay with Sunderland.

      Like

      • bryan

        that’s probably true but the coach also made it clear Jozy is still in his plans. i think he has one more season to prove himself in the EPL.

        Like

      • GW

        Sunderland have lost Borini.
        They haven’t yet reached terms with Wickham who has drawn some interest from elsewhere .
        Scocco did not work out
        Fletcher is recovering from hair transplant surgery.

        Poyet is in no rush to get rid of Jozy

        Like

  • Del Griffin

    Well its got to be a foreign born player, because no one from USA would want to live in Ohio.

    Like

      • US100Ebook

        Any of our Mexican-American contingent. They know what a US-Mexico match can feel like in Columbus and just assume all Crew games are the same.

        Like

    • slowleftarm

      Can’t imagine any foreign born player insisting on playing in Columbus in their half empty stadium. Only makes sense if it’s someone from Ohio, which means it has to be Friedel.

      Like

    • Mike R

      +100000000000000000

      But the Chicago Fire are sooooo bad I could see Jones preferring to play for a better run team. I mean he can fly out after the games are over. Plus the allure of playing state that only cares about Landon and in a stress free empty stadium.plus it’s a rural area where citizens won’t recognize him

      He can easily wine in dine in Chicago on his off time and go back to Columbus for games and practices. If cow tipping isn’t his thing there will be no distractions

      Like

      • malkin

        Except for the fact that Jermaine is clearly loving every bit of the attention he’s been getting. Have you seen his instagram?

        Like

      • JayAre

        Do you mean that in a bad way or a good way? Because i think Jermaine’s character, Instagram everything!!!! is what MLS is missing. He’s not boring and he’s actually a star off the field. If he signs with Chicago I’ll go there to watch him, if he signs with Columbus I will watch him on TV but non the less I’ll still watch

        Like

      • Bill

        Awww…you’re Ohio hate is adorable. Have fun in 8th grade in the fall.

        Like

      • Bill

        Yes. YOU’RE right. I’ll deal with the apostrophe posse instead of cow tipping jokes. Also, I want Jozy in Columbus.

        Like

      • Anthony

        You can hope all you want, but I hope it never happens. I want our elite playing at the highest level they can and against the best competition. Even if Sunderland does not work out, I still think he can play in a top 5 league which is still better than MLS (and no I am not an MLS hate, I actually support it a lot – I just have very good recognition of the existing level of play and how much it will take for it to compete against elite leagues — that will not happen during Jozy’s playing career).

        Like

      • Bill

        Jozy gets Higuain service, gets to be the focal point of the attack. The Crew get him for 1.5 years and 26 y/o Jozy transfers back to Europe in January 2016.

        Like

    • Lorenzo

      Ohio is beautiful, Columbus is a nice city, great place to raise a family. Coesite science center, in Columbus zoo among other things.

      Like

    • Mikey K

      I live in Ohio and it does suck. I agree people are mean and cold here in Ohio.

      Like

      • Ted Tran

        This, Ohio is okay to 3rd world, but the people are awful.

        Like

    • redhaus1845

      And would they not want to live in Ohio? or specifically Columbus (the 15th largest city in the U.S.)?

      Like

    • JayAre

      He said big national team player. Alexi is in the has been branch of the national team with (he who must not be named)

      Like

  • SilverRey

    Tchani is having the year of his life right now, but I’d take JerJo over him in a heart-beat. He’d make a good fit with Trapp holding down the fort behind him and Higuain working his magic.

    Like

    • JayAre

      The year of his life won’t stop Jermaine Jones from taking Tchani’s starting spot. Walking on water won’t even help him

      Like

  • KFRZ

    Posturing… Hey Chicago and LA, maybe we take ur player maybe we won’t, what’s it worth to you?

    Like

  • Andy in Atlanta

    He did not say US national team….

    he said BIG national team player….

    Jan Koller coming out of retirement? He always looked good in yellow and black…

    Like

  • NASL TO EL PASO TX

    Is he the American mourinho :)
    Who wants to play there with all respect?
    Their name is so cheesy and their stadium looks old school South American. Any stadium with a concert stage is pathetic for MLS, and if Columbus would rebrand like skc and get a new stadium in a favorable place, it would be electric atmosphere like when they host the US nationals.
    I’m guessing it’s agudelo or Shea but if mix and jones are available, he might be playing reverse psychology with galaxy or fc Dallas.

    Like

    • Alex

      You leave Crew Stadium alone, now. That place is the spiritual home of the USMNT.

      Like

    • FulhamDC

      There’s nothing wrong with the stadium in Columbus.

      Signed, Stuck at RFK for the last 19 years.

      Like

    • Andy in Atlanta

      First off… I have always loved the name… It has always had a nice balance between a US and Europe type name to me…the logo is pretty sweet too…

      The stadium was one of the first soccer specific in the country and was built for much less than 30 million back in the late 90s…. it has been home to some of the biggest wins in USMNT history….

      The area supports them when they put out a winning product.

      Like

    • Tim

      Crew stadium is iconic in American soccer from the first of its kind to all usmnt qualifiers. It may be old but it’s historic and still serves a great need. For all the attendence talk maybe people should watch and see that there are far worse off teams than Columbus.

      Like

      • IndyElevenFan

        Agreed. The actual stadium is not too shabby compared to some other places (and yes…I did live in DC for a decade…and am keeping my fingers crossed for Buzzard Point) and the location is on the state fairgrounds so there’s plenty of parking, is easy to get to from the interstate, etc. Quit hating.

        Like

    • Anthony

      Why would he choose Ohio when his dad is in Chicago, he has a house in LA and has interest from Chicago?

      Like

      • redhaus1845

        You act like Columbus is really far from Chicago…And what has the Fire done that Columbus hasnt done? Sorry but I dont understand your argument. Is Chicago some iconic dominating team like the Galaxy?

        Like

      • Anthony

        It’s more than the team, but also where you live. I would rather live in Chicago as a city instead of Columbus. In addition, he has family ties with his father in Chicago. I have done long distance. It is nothing like jumping in a train or car and seeing who you want, when you want.

        Like

      • GW

        Columbus to Chicago is about an hour by air but is not a great drive , about 5-6 hours depending on where in Chicago the people you are visiting live.

        I would not say it is an easy commute.

        Like

  • Greg

    Gotta figure its Brad Friedel. From Ohio (Cleveland) and now he’s 3rd string at Spurs. Can see him wanting to come home and get a few games as well.

    Like

    • Luke

      My thoughts exactly! With Vorm the #2, usually the 3rd GK is a younger player teams want to develop.

      Like

    • Joemybro

      Friedel just signed a new contract, and is being groomed for a move into coaching/management where he is. Doubt it’s him.

      Like

    • redhaus1845

      The last time Friedel was at Crew Stadium he was interviewing for Gregg Berhalter’s job so I doubt that if he ever came to Columbus it would be for coaching.

      Like

  • nooneimportant

    Donovan calling about tickets to the next “Dos a cero” Mexico game.

    Like

    • Anthony

      I hope not. I actually don’t see it. Jozy has stated he wants to stay in Europe.

      Like

      • Bill

        Berhalter is excited. Its high level. They need a target forward. Unless its Herc…Jozy.

        Like

    • bryan

      Jozy would not be allocated if he came back. which he isn’t. he would certainly meet this threshold MLS speaks of.

      Like

    • JayAre

      Sunderland can’t afford to lose anymore player this off season. They barely have enough to practice 9 v 9

      Like

  • Nic D "the TX 2 Stepper"

    In Order of Likelyhood

    1. Friedel’s Accent – Homestate
    2. Agudelo – On a Free
    3. Shea – Not gonna see the field at Stoke
    4. Mixx – has been flirting with MLS for a minute
    5. Gooch – would actually be a great partner to Parkhurst

    Like

    • Luke from CBus

      Gooch would actually be a great partner to Parkhurst – ummm….did you see the World Cup? Giancarlo Gonzalez is partnered with Parkhurst

      Like

      • redhaus1845

        Yeah…I was wondering if putting Parkhurst at RB was a part of that thinking. They could always move Michael to right back and put Gooch in the center with Gonzalez. Gooch doesnt pass real well like Parkhurst or Gonzalez but he would cover crosses similar to Omar (even though he forgot one time to do so…ie Portugal) in the WC

        Like

    • Jack

      Shea can still go out on another loan and see what happens in 6 months. Perhaps Stoke has injures and he has to be recalled, ect. There’s no real reason for him to come back right now unless he’s just sick of England. He’s gotten 45 minutes twice for Stoke this preseason and looked alright by most accounts.

      Like

    • Matt J. Brooks

      If the Crew signed Gooch then Parkhurst would move to an outside back role. No way they are going to put Gonzalez on the bench. Only way Parkhurst pairs with Onyewu is if the Crew sells Gonzalez

      Like

  • barkdog

    Please please please have it be a Big Enough™ name that they don’t have to go through allocation and end up going wherever Don sees fit, just to expose this travesty of a system once again.

    Like

      • Matt J. Brooks

        His point is if we go past allocation then we can sign a big player and STILL be at #1 to sign another player

        Like

  • Hejduk4President

    Most comments on a Crew article! In other news, Frankie is having a sand soccer party for his birthday at a bar here in Cbus, which is equally as exciting.

    Like

  • James M to the P

    “I don’t want to say names, but I got a call yesterday about a guy who wanted to specifically come to Columbus,” Berhalter told reporters. “A big national team player, and I thought that was interesting. All of a sudden we’re getting calls where people are coming to us.”

    Seems like Berhalter just set himself up. What is he supposed to say if they don’t sign the “big national team player”? “Well, he WANTED to come to Columbus but then his cat got pregnant and he decided to stay home and help raise the kittens.”

    Like

    • SilverRey

      Berhalter is still working on his media game. He’s still a young coach remember, but he’ll learn. Just ask Merritt.

      Like

    • redhaus1845

      Is he saying a BIG NATIONAL TEAM player or a big NATIONAL TEAM PLAYER? Could it be Gonzalo? Or Klose? Berg? Huntelaar? Kuyt? He either is talking about a player from a NT like Brazil Italy or Spain or he is talking about a regular USMNT player…either way its pretty exciting

      Like

  • ilikefreddyyesadu

    This is like a game of Clue. I’ll throw Stuart Holden’s name out there as a possible suspect. Or could it be MR. GREEN?

    Like

  • User222

    ““A big national team player,” … perhaps a national team player of any country…. not just USA.

    Like

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