The deadline for Major League Soccer clubs came and went and Columbus Crew SC did not make a last-minute move.
That is not to say the Black & Gold did not try. Massive Report can confirm that Crew SC was in talks to acquire Costa Rican forward Jonathan McDonald from Liga Deportiva Alajuelense.
In the end, the club wanted more than sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter was willing to pay and no deal was reached.
No move on the final eve also does not mean Columbus was not active during the transfer window. While a marquee signing was not made, Crew SC did acquire three players that filled areas of need.
On July 21, the Black & Gold signed defender Nicolai Næss from Norwegian side Stabæk, in the hopes to improve a porous defense. One day later and the club announced the addition of 21-year old and highly-touted youth goalkeeper Zach Steffen following the announcement that third-string keeper Matt Pacifici was done for the year.
Just last Saturday, Columbus traded for 6-foot-3 forward Adam Jahn. This addressed the need of a backup striker behind Ola Kamara after Conor Casey has been on the mend nearly all year.
In the middle of a bad year, Crew SC sits in ninth place in the Eastern Conference following two very successful seasons, fans looked for something to get excited about. In the end, the only thing they had was owner Anthony Precourt’s tweets that the club was making an effort.
While some will be disappointed, Berhalter still likes what the team already possesses just a year removed from a run to the MLS Cup Final.
"I’m a firm believer that this group deserved a chance," he explained. "They deserved a chance to prove themselves again. It was a great season last year, I think they’ve been building towards something and I think they’ve earned that right."
The Black & Gold sit on three wins and 19 points in 2016. Injuries have played a part, but even when healthy the team has not looked like the group that made the run to the Final.
With 13 matches to play, Columbus needs to make up just a seven-point gap for the final playoff spot. Ten of those matches are against East opposition and all but two are sitting ahead of Crew SC in the standings.
For Berhalter, he knows what must be done over the course of the rest of the season. He now has the team he will work with to get the job done and while it hasn’t panned out so far this year for the Black & Gold, Berhalter is content with the group going forward.
"I don’t necessarily know if we’d do a major shakeup in this window," he said. "I don’t know if that’s appropriate."