Today the Columbus Crew announced the signing of midfielder Mohammed Saeid, whose contract expires with Swedish side Örebro SK in December.
"He's a player that has been playing in Sweden for a while. He was identified early on as a potential candidate with his contract expiring in December," Berhalter said. "We were able to watch him live, watch video of him, and have some good information about him. We feel that he's exactly the type of player we're looking for. Technically good, mobile, and will play the type of game that we want."
Saied is a possession-based central midfielder according to the Crew's press release, which fits with the club's style of play. He is also a player handpicked by Berhalter, who kept tabs on him after coaching in Sweden.
"Yes, I knew him," he said. "He was a guy that was performing, he was a winner, helped his team get promoted into the top league in Sweden, helped his team stay there. So he has some good qualities."
While at Örebro SK, Saeid appeared in 68 games, scoring seven goals, including a 24-appearance, four-goal year to help the club earn promotion to the First Division. Before joining Örebro SK, Saeid was a member of West Bromwich Albion, where he featured in their youth system for eight seasons, and Swedish side BK Forward where he began his career and returned after his time with the Baggies.
If you have a strange feeling on the signing, due to the consistent play of central midfielders Wil Trapp and Tony Tchani throughout 2014, you can rest easy. Berhalter believes it is necessary to have quality depth in order to be a successful team.
"We certainly see him being able to challenge for a starting position in this league," he informed the gathered media on Wednesday.
"I think when you're building the squad and you're building a strong squad, you need 20 solid players and that's what we're looking to do."
Trapp and Tchani played the majority of the season for Columbus, yet missed seven games due to a combination of suspensions and injuries. In those games that at least one of the players missed, the Black and Gold went 2-2-2 (both players missed the 3-0 win over Chivas USA) with various players filling in.
As to why the squad has now signed three players - Kei Kamara, Ben Swanson, and Saeid - who cannot play until 2015, Berhalter said they are just preparing.
"I think that it's preparation," Berhalter said. "We're preparing with our scouting team. We're identifying spots we need to bolster and add depth and add quality. I think for us, it's nice to do that and start planning ahead and look forward to a strong team next year."
It's never too early to look towards the future and the Crew are on top of that. This signing, along with other moves the team has made and the recent rebrand, continues to point to a bright future for the Black and Gold.