Columbus Crew SC now have a giant hole in the front office as Gregg Berhalter moves to take over the vacant U.S. Men’s National Team role and leave his position at sporting director and head coach of the team. Massive Report has learned that the team is looking to split the roles and has already interviewed candidates for both positions.
The team is currently in the middle of a sale to a new owernship group led by Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam and Pete Edwards and the new ownership group is taking the lead in choosing the new coach and GM.
Massive Report has also learned that Caleb Porter and Josh Wolff have been interviewed for the position and are finalists for the head coaching role. Another source sees Porter as the favorite.
Josh Wolff is a U.S. National Team and Major League Soccer veteran. Wolff played with Sporting Kansas City when they were known as the Wizards and had a stint with Munich 1860 from 2006 to 2008 where he played with Berhalter. He finished his career with D.C. United and moved to the coaching staff in 2012 when he retired. Wolff was one of Berhalter’s initial hires in November of 2013 and has been on the coaching staff for the entirety of Berhalter’s tenure with Crew SC. Wolff has interviewed with multiple MLS teams recently was a temporary assistant coach with the U.S. National Team for the October friendlies.
Caleb Porter has deep midwest roots. He played college soccer at powerhouse Indiana University, moving to an assistant coaching role after a short professional career. In 2006, he took over the Akron men’s soccer program and turned the team into one of the strongest in college soccer. He was the U-23 coach for the 2012 Olympic Qualifying run, falling just short.
In 2013, Porter moved to the Portland Timbers and led the team to the best record in the Western Conference in his first year and in 2017. His team won the MLS Cup in 2015, a victory Crew SC fans will want to forget. His team made the playoffs in three of the five years he was in charge.
Pat Onstad has been named interim general manager, but the team’s search is extending beyond the long serving Crew SC assistant. Massive Report understand the team is looking for candidates that have in depth knowledge of MLS.
Berhalter has been the last word on anything to do with soccer for the team since arriving in November of 2013. He manages the first team, transfers and plays a strong role in the direction of the academy. His imprint is on how the team was built and how it plays. The change to split roles mirrors how much of MLS has chosen to divide responsibilities. Of the four MLS Cup semifinalists, Portland, New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United splits coaching and general manager roles. Only Kansas City combines the role with Peter Vermes handling the duties.