Team President Mark McCullers introduced Gregg Berhalter as a progressive coach. The more appropriate word that springs to mind is visionary. McCullers talked about how Berhalter communicated his short, medium, and long range plans for the Crew during the interview process. Crew Chairman Anthony Precourt talked repeatedly about Berhalter's vision for building not just the team, but the competitive organization to make the team successful.
The team is starting from nearly the absolute beginning. Mike Lapper remains on the technical staff, but is nearly out of contract. No decision has been made on his future yet. Brook Hamilton will continue in his role as strength and conditioning coach. The rest of the decisions will be made by Berhalter.
His immediate plan is to fill out the coaching staff in the next couple weeks as he prepares for the re-entry draft and Superdraft in the coming months. Apparently there is significant interest in the team's open positions and competition for staff positions will be fierce.
Beyond rebuilding his coaching staff, Berhalter elaborated a little on what he wants the competitive side of the organization to look like. Precourt has given him free reign to build as he sees fit and there will be several new positions created as Berhalter rolls out his ideas. The Crew will hire a Director of Soccer Operations to handle the business of playing in MLS.
Berhalter also talked about hiring a head scout and a staff. The Crew have never built out a scouting department, but will now follow the lead of teams like the Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City. They have foreign and U.S. based scouts to cover foreign leagues and the college game. Berhalter also mentioned that as they build out that structure that they'd look to hire a Performance Director and video analysts among other staff.
The days are gone where the Crew would have a head coach and three assistants to run the gamut of first team activities. Precourt appears willing to spend to build out a modern soccer organization and Berhalter is the man charged with fulfilling that vision.
It's one of the biggest bets in Crew history. If Berhalter can accomplish his vision the team will be one Major League Soccer's model franchises. If he stumbles it will set back the Black and Gold several more years. Either way, all eyes will be on the man with the plan.