Anthony Precourt makes a break from the past with Berhalter signing.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The management by committee is gone. Gregg Berhalter is the decider.

The Gregg Berhalter signing signaled a clean break. Team owner Anthony Precourt looked at the past several years and didn't like what he saw. Head coach Robert Warzycha was the first to go, fired in September. Today, Precourt finished the house cleaning. Brian Bliss was passed over for the job and wasn't brought back in any capacity. Mark McCullers relinquishes his general manager title and will focus solely on the business matters at the club.

Before today the Crew's soccer operations were divided. Bliss managed the youth program and scouting as technical director, McCullers got them signed, and Warzycha put the team on the field. It was rarely clear how the team made decisions. Today there is one man making those decisions, Berhalter.

The management by committee ideal is to build out a leadership team that compliment each persons strengths while compensating for each others weaknesses. There were some successes. The Crew's signing of Federico Higuain payed immediate dividends. They tracked a player and got him signed. Jairo Arrieta's 2012 season was excellent after coming in during midseason. They changed the face of a team that couldn't score.

There are plenty failures too. The committee repeatedly struck out on draft day. Rich Balchan and Kirk Urso may have changed the calculus before injury and tragedy struck. However the list of Crew first round draft picks since 2009 is a list of missed opportunity. Dilly Duka, Bright Dike, Justin Meram, Ethan Finlay, and Ryan Finlay have struggled to adjust to MLS play with the team. Dike was cut before the season started and Duka is showing flashes of his promise after his trade to the Fire.

Time will tell if Berhalter was the right choice to lead the Columbus Crew, but it's clear after five years that the Crew's old management by committee hadn't worked. Precourt looked back and decided diminishing returns wasn't good enough and made a bold change.

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