Gregg Berhalter sees New England's acquisition of Jermaine Jones as "a threat," but no corresponding roster moves are imminent for the Crew.
Speaking after today's training session at the Crew's facility in Obetz, Berhalter said that he measures his team against itself rather than others around Major League Soccer. However, the recent moves undertaken by the Revolution capped with the Jones acquisition are impossible to ignore, he said.
Gregg Berhalter sees New England’s acquisition of Jermaine Jones as “a threat,” but no corresponding roster moves are imminent for the Crew.
Speaking after today’s training session at the Crew’s facility in Obetz, Berhalter said that he measures his team against itself rather than others around Major League Soccer. However, the recent moves undertaken by the Revolution capped with the Jones acquisition are impossible to ignore, he said.
“Do I think New England’s better today than they were a couple days ago? Of course,” Berhalter said. “Jermaine Jones was one of our best players in the World Cup, so of course they’re improved and of course we view that as a threat. That’s normal, but we also feel like if we play our game we can beat every team in the league.”
New England sits sixth in the Eastern Conference with 30 points, three behind the fourth-place Crew with a game in hand. Two of the Crew’s final six games are against the Revolution, at home Sept. 20 and at Gillette Stadium Oct. 4.
The Crew holds the top spot in MLS’ allocation order but has been unable to use it. Rosters freeze for the season Sept. 15 and Berhalter has been consistent with his message that the Crew is hoping to add a piece or two before then. The Crew has been known to be pursuing a consistent goal-scoring threat, and yesterday Berhalter said he might look out-of-house to add depth on defense after selling Giancarlo Gonzalez to Italian Serie A club Palermo.
“What we’ve been doing is focusing on this group and how we can get the most out of these guys here,” Berhalter said today. “I think the challenge when it comes to other rosters or looking at players on other rosters, the guys that you like the guys that you think could help you, you’re never going to get. There’s such little movement. We’ve tried with some guys and the conversation ends after hello, basically. We’re focusing on our guys and improving them and getting them to figure out how we play and to get the most out of them.”
Yesterday he said the Crew could “potentially” add someone by the end of this week but added, “ we just want to make sure if we bring someone in that they can contribute.” In addition, he added that the fact that only nine games remain in the season impact the pursuit of additions to the roster.
Today, Berhalter said, “We want to add guys. Let’s not sugarcoat this, but it has to be the right guy. I’m not going to be forced into adding someone that we’re not comfortable with.”
The Crew has been linked to Greek striker Dimitrios Papadopoulos, and Berhalter has confirmed that the out-of-contract forward is a player they have scouted.
However, any chance of Papadopoulos signing with the Crew appears to have passed. Asked if there were still ongoing conversations with Papadopoulos, Berhalter said, “if there is, I don’t know about it.”