They say any publicity is good publicity, but that's now how Gregg Berhalter sees it. The Columbus Crew SC head coach and sporting director doesn't like the headlines involving his team recently.
"We've been getting a lot of attention lately and it's for the wrong reasons," Berhalter said following Crew SC's 1-0 win over Mexican side Veracruz in an international friendly Wednesday. "That's not who we are as a soccer club. That's not what Columbus represents. That's not what we represent and I don't like that type of thing."
Berhalter is referring to the incident in Saturday night's 4-4 tie with the Montreal Impact where the team's two Designated Players, Federico Higuain and Kei Kamara, verbal quarreled on the field over who would take a second half penalty kick.
This argument led to Kamara, who tied for the MLS lead in goals scored a season ago, to vent his frustration with Higuain, saying he "didn't need" his playmaker and opening the door to deeper issues between the two.
Following this announcement, Kamara spoke with the media, stating his disagreement with the suspension, but his desire to remain with the club despite rumors that Crew SC were shopping the forward.
"I think in general the important thing is the sign to the team," Berhalter said when asked what he made of Kei's response to the one-game suspension. "It's that your leading goal scorer, your Designated Player, and you're suspending him from playing when you're in a game that you need points.
"From our perspective, no one man is bigger than the team and these are measures that we're taking to protect the integrity of that. No matter what the comments are, it doesn't change what the effect is and what the action is. Kei won't be playing on Saturday."
Throughout his career, Kamara has never felt the need to hold back his thoughts, whether to the press or on social media. In his second stint with the Black & Gold, this is the first time his comments have resulted in negative feedback, as frustration is mounting after a slow start.
Asked if he expected an apology from his star striker, Berhalter skirted the question.
"Listen, I think everyone processes this in their own way," he said. "Kei dealt with it in the way he feels is appropriate."
Following the match, Berhalter was asked if Crew SC had made a move today and responded with a simple "No." That means, for now, both Kamara - the more likely of the two to get moved - and Higuain are still with the club. The current MLS transfer window closes at 1:00 A.M. EST, so there is still time.
When asked what the chances were of making a move, Berhalter stated a fact, "I'm not an oddsmaker."
Neither am I Gregg, nor am I a betting man. But if I were, after what we've seen and heard these last four days, I would put money on only one Kamara, and not one named Kei, on the roster when the Black & Gold next take the field.