Berhalter eyes offensive additions to add scoring punch

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Crew offense stalled at times last year. It appears Columbus is looking to do something about it.

Gregg Berhalter has been mum on his initial goals this offseason. He's said he likes much of the roster and that most of the upcoming roster choices are straightforward. The Crew's shopping list will become clearer as they cut some of last years roster, but the team may be taking a hard look at the forward spot.

The Crew have reportedly inquired into the price tag on Seattle's mercurial striker Eddie Johnson. That's not a surprise as have of the league has done that. Berhalter has also asked former Hammarby and New York forward Luke Rodgers if he's interested into coming to Columbus (he's not). Rodgers is a former Berhalter player so reaching out also makes sense.

There is a pattern emerging, Berhalter is looking to as scoring punch. Jairo Arrieta only scored three goals last year and turned 30 in August. He's not the biggest or fastest player so he struggles to stretch or hold up the defense. His value is based on his ability to score.

The team's leading scorer, Dominic Oduro, is currently out of contract. He set a personal best with 13 goals working from the right wing and forward. Even if the Crew are able to re-sign him, he may not get to play forward. Eddie Gaven's shock retirement leaves quite a hole and Oduro may continue to see more time on the right wing.

Berhalter, with his focus on analytics, is likely very cognizant of how much Federico Higuain drives the Crew offense. No player in the league set up more chances than Higuain. He can feed the ball into dangerous spots, he just needs someone to finish them.

The sudden interest in offense upgrades puts Arrieta's status with the Crew in 2014 up in the air. Columbus needs goals, it's unclear if Berhalter sees him as part of the solution.

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