Berhalter explains roster decisions

Sporting Director talks about building the Crew's roster for 2014

Gregg Berhalter

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USA Today Sports Images

Cody Sharrett: It's always tough to let guys go. What went into some of the roster decisions that were made today?

Gregg Berhalter: First of all, we analyzed the financial situation in terms of the salary cap and where these players stand in relation to that. That's what a lot of these decisions are based on.  

CS: Three players are out of contract and the Crew is expected to extend offers to all three. How much of a priority is it to bring back the team's leading scorer Dominic Oduro, as well as a talented young defender in Josh Williams and veteran goalkeeper in Andy Gruenebaum?

GB: They're all guys that we'd like [on the team] moving into the future. They've meant a lot to the club. Dominic has had an outstanding last few years. Josh is a player with big potential and Andy is a veteran with leadership. They're all key pieces in our mind. 

CS: The Waiver and Re-Entry Drafts take place in the coming weeks. We don't know all the names that will be available in those drafts, but how can you use those methods to start adding pieces for 2014?

GB: We're going to look at that. We'll be patient. Sometimes in the Re-Entry Draft, you might be paying top dollar for a guy that might be going the other way. We're going to really analyze that carefully before we make a decision.

CS: With these roster moves, you free-up a lot of last year's payroll, in addition to the the recent retirement of Eddie Gaven. Talk about the cap flexibility the Crew has and how can it help shape the roster for 2014.

GB: The motivation for all these moves is to give us flexibility without disturbing the core. That's important for us. We want to be able to make moves when we feel the player is right. That's what we're doing right now, freeing-up space.

CS: You've been doing a lot of college scouting since you've arrived here in Columbus. The Crew holds the fourth overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. Will you look to hold onto that? Is there a can't-miss player? Or will you explore trading the pick?

GB: We'll look into everything, but what I'll say is that with that pick, we can get a player that can help us immediately. We value that pick. Having the fourth pick again in the Second Round, you can get decent depth in the Draft.