Toronto FC has to move Matias Laba soon thanks to their surplus of Designated Players. The young Argentine can play, and TFC is hoping to put him on loan somewhere else in Major League Soccer.
So, they’ve been looking at their options and apparently one was Trillium Cup rival Columbus. The Crew didn’t have much interest, which is fine and happens all the time in the world of trade offers. What wasn’t fine was head coach Gregg Berhalter going public with their lack of interest, saying Laba’s season wasn’t great and his contract was too expensive.
And it’s got a number of people in an uproar, including Portland owner Merritt Paulson.
If coach thumps his chest to media about specific trades he has rejected, he ain’t getting more trade offers. Amazing that happens. #newguy
— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) February 12, 2014
In an exchange with another Twitter user who replied to his Tweet, Paulson said Berhalter’s public response was “such a breach of code.”
It’s hard to side with Paulson and fellow critics of Berhalter’s actions. What was the Columbus coach’s purpose? Was he trying to play antagonist to Toronto? Was he being critical of his own club’s budget? Either of those are uncool for a variety of reasons. Berhalter made waves for American coaches with his gig at Hammarby, but the waves he’s making in America, in this instance, aren’t going to be welcomed.