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Sources: Crew set to sign Argentine right back Hernan Grana

HernanGranaBocaJuniors1 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

The Columbus Crew are expected to address one of their team weaknesses by the end of the week.

Sources have confirmed to SBI that the Crew are close to signing Argentine right back Hernan Grana. Grana, 29, has been offered a one-year contract with two option years, and is expected to undergo a club physical on Thursday.

Grana spent the last year and a half with Argentine giants Boca Juniors, starting 20 times in 21 games. He was with Boca on loan from All Boys, where he spent two seasons. He also had stints with Belgrano, Quilmes, and Lanus, where former Crew Designated Player Guillermo Barros Schelotto currently coaches.

Grana and his representatives, Hernan Narinsky and Emanuel Bourgeois, received positive recommendations on MLS and the Crew from Barros Schelotto as well as the Crew’s current Designated Player, fellow Argentine Federico Higuain.

The Crew declined to provide an official comment on the news, but head coach Gregg Berhalter did hint that the club was finalizing a move or two in the coming days.

“I could see us adding a couple of pieces. I don’t think we’re quite done yet,” Berhalter said. “We’re always looking to improve, we’re always looking to get better. We want competition in places on the field so we could potentially add someone.”

Grana would be a much-needed replacement for the Crew after losing two of their starting right backs from the 2014 season, Eric Gehrig and Josh Williams, this offseason. Gehrig was selected by Orlando City in the MLS expansion draft and then traded to the Chicago Fire. Williams was traded to New York City FC prior to the expansion draft.

Grana will likely face competition at right back from Hector Jimenez, who started 19 games last season, and recently acquired fullback Chris Klute.

The Crew currently have 25 players signed to contracts for the 2015 season, not including draft picks Sergio Campbell and Sagi Lev-Ari.

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What do you think of this news? Like that the Crew are adding a new right back? Do you feel this team has enough talent to make a run at MLS Cup?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. @Paul. Just because a player has been out of favor does not mean he isn’t as good as people say he is. If that was the case BWP would have been a flop when he went to RedBulls. I don’t see this being a case where we saw Marquez do terrible after coming from Barca. I think that Schelotto and Higuain are great players and soccer iminds so I trust in their judgement. Further more Berhalter is not one to mess around with things like this. I am not sure what happened but I definitley see that there was something wrong behind the scenes when Oduro was traded to Toronto. So if something goes wrong with this signing I can see Berhalter doing the same.

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  2. To play devil’s advocate, I doubt anyone here has actually seen Hernan Grana play.

    In addition, he played 5 times for Boca in the last 5 months….and from what I’ve read on Twitter, Boca fans are pretty happy to see the back of him. So it’s a bit of an odd signing for the Crew if he’s not as good as some are making him out to be.

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    • I have to trust Schelotto and Higuain here. If they are talking to him and recommending he come here, they must see something in his ability. He did start 20 of 21 games for them – does that mean he had an injury or a falling out with the coach to limit his playing time recently?

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  3. Is that Sebastian Rozental sliding in the photo? Nah, that guy would never make a hustle play like that 😉

    Crew are simply loaded and have serious depth next year. They probably need one more signing–a top striker. I think they’ll challenge the Revs as top of the East, and you have to consider Toronto in there too. But Crew have a much more balanced squad than Toronto.

    If Toronto has to unload Gilberto as their 4th DP, he could be Crew’s 2nd DP. Not sure Toronto would do it though, as that would really complete the Crew. Hard to keep track of all they’ve added to their core from last year, which was pretty darn good. Kei Kamara, Pogatetz, Romain Gall, the Icelandic dude Steindarsson (sp?), Saeid, Klute. Re-signed Meram and Higauin. Trapp is ready to play every game, is pairing well with Tchani. Parkhurst and Francis are solid in the back. Ethan Finlay is solid. Clark solid in goal. This team is stacked.

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  4. So this means our backline depth chart would be a little something like…

    Francis/Klute – Pogatetz/Campbell/Wahl – Parkhurst/Wahl – Grana/Barson/Sweat

    Is it March 7th yet?

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    • Wow! Berhalter appears to be getting it done. Somewhere in the swamps of New Jersey,…Ali Curtis is admiring his “sophisticated” plan.

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    • If the guy is good enough to start consistently for Boca Juniors, he must be pretty good. And, at 29 he should be in the prime of his career. This looks like a great signing on the face of it.

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