After the comparative warmth of Florida, Columbus Crew SC was back at training in Central Ohio Monday. A nearly full squad practiced indoors at Superkick in Lewis Center.
Berhalter met with assembled media and fielded questions about the team and how the roster is shaping up after the first leg of preseason.
Notably, winger Romain Gall and center back Sergio Campbell were waived according to Gregg Berhalter. The coach didn't elaborate on the specifics for the two players. He did note "it's inevitable when you get to this stage with foreign (player) restrictions and salary cap implications."
One trialist remains in camp, goalkeeper Matt Pacifici, formerly of Davidson College is competing for a spot. The team currently has two goalkeepers under contract, starter Steve Clark with Brad Stuver as the understudy.
German attacker Florian Pick returned to Germany. The team will be communicating with him in the days ahead. Berhalter approved of the trial saying he "did well", but with Crew SC currently without an open roster spot, the team will have to balance Pick's promise with the lack of space on the roster.
There may be relief as several players are working on getting green cards according to Berhalter, declining to specify who might not be taking an international slot, but did say it comes down to timing. The team can't rely on someone having a green card until they get one.
Currently Crew SC have all eight international roster slots filled with new additions Ola Kamara, Emil Larsen, and Rodrigo Saravia taking up the open spots. They join Harrison Afful, Waylon Francis, Gaston Sauro, Cedrick Mabwati, and Mohammed Saeid filling out the international roster spots.
In other moves Rookies Vince Cicciarelli and Kyle Parker were released from camp. That leaves forward Marshall Hollingsworth and Chase Minter competing to lock down spots.
The team has to be roster and salary budget compliant by February 28th. Any moves, such as an improved contract for Kei Kamara or signing an international player, would impact the balancing that the front office done and likely cause compensating moves.
Crew SC will train in Central Ohio for the rest of the week before heading to Tucson, Arizona next Monday, February 15th with their first game against Sporting Kansas City on February 17th.