Preseason

Berhalter dispels Matías Laba rumors

Sporting Director content with current roster, but doesn't rule out making additions

The Columbus Crew was offered Toronto FC’s Matías Laba, Head Coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed Monday at a training session at indoor soccer facility Superkick.

But Berhalter was quick to note that Columbus was not interested in the young Designated Player, the odd man out in Toronto after the club brought on three additional DP contracts this offseason.

“They've contacted us,” Berhalter told a group of reporters. “I know he's a young DP, and I know they pay him a lot of money. I don't know that we're that committed to that, but he's a good player.”

Though Berhalter did reveal that he was intrigued by the idea, he said it wasn't much more than just that – an idea. And he clarified Tuesday that the Crew never took steps toward looking into the availability of the 22-year-old midfielder.

“I wouldn't say [we're] looking into it,” he said. “That would be a stretch. But we've thought about it.

“We get tons of stuff about players from other clubs in MLS,” Berhalter added. “I think it was an email: 'Are you interested in Matías Laba?' I responded, 'I'll think about it.' That's all it was. I really wouldn't read too deeply into that.”

Berhalter suggested that Laba's cost would not be worth his production and that the Argentine youth international might not be what the Crew is looking for in an “expensive” player.

“We know that [Laba] had an average season last year,” he said. “He was in and out of the lineup. … We know a lot of things that tell us that he's an expensive player.

“So we just don't know if that's the guy we're looking to bring in. And if we did want to bring in an expensive player, I'm not sure that's the guy.”

Berhalter said that he's happy with the Crew roster as it stands. He said it's still possible for players to be brought in, but added that nothing is urgent.

“We're looking to strengthen the team in certain areas,” he said. “But I don't think we're desperate for any position.”