Throughout the summer transfer window there were many rumors surrounding the Columbus Crew. Many of these had to do with a striker joining the offensively anemic Black and Gold and were fueled by head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter's comments that they were confident a deal would get done.
Wednesday came and went without the major acquisition fans hoped for, but that was not without much effort by the organization according to Berhalter.
"I wanted it so badly for the fans, and for the club, and for the city," Berhalter said of the failed Mix Diskerud deal.
"We went after it. We went after it aggressively... We were there, we were right there."
Diskerud is a Norwegian-American who currently plays for Rosenborg in Norway. He broke onto the American fans radar through his play with the U.S. national team dating back to 2010 and was a member of the 2014 U.S. World Cup team. The attacking midfielder has earned 20 caps for the Red, White, and Blue, scoring four goals in the process.
Berhalter stated the Crew had monitored the 23-year old since before the World Cup and had extensive conversations with him. According to Berhalter, the conversations went well, but hit a snag at the last minute.
"In the end I can't say why it didn't go through," Berhalter said on Thursday. "We were in a position to present an offer that probably 98% of the players in the league would take.
"You take a step back and look at what could have been better and how you could have finished the deal. But in the end, the player's got to be totally committed to it and it's got to be something that's right. Maybe for some reason it wasn't."
Reports came out on Wednesday that a handshake deal had been reached between the Crew and Diskerud, but an issue emerged due to Mix's father. Berhalter said that this was not the case.
"I would like to directly address the reports that we had a handshake deal and he reneged on it. That didn't happen," Berhalter said. "I think that's an important step. The whole time they were very open and direct. We had great dialogue."
Berhalter went on to say that the door was not closed on Diskerud, whose can be offered a pre-contract by teams, as he is within six months of his contract expiring. The Columbus head coach also said acquisitions are not done because this window has closed, as they can still make trades within the league and look for out-of-contract players.
Berhalter expressed his disappointment in the trade falling through, but also stated he is very optimistic they will be in these type of positions again because of the willingness of owner Anthony Precourt to go out and get players.
"I've learned how committed Mr. Precourt is into turning this team into a winning team."