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Paulson questions Berhalter’s “breach of code” in speaking out on trade offer

Feb 12, 2014, 11:29 AM EDT

Berhalter AP

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.

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.

  1. dubdiz12 - Feb 12, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    do you mean “It’s hard NOT to side with Paulson and fellow critics of Berhalter’s actions.”?

  2. midtec2005 - Feb 12, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    He hasn’t been a head coach for very long. I’ll give him a pass on this one and assume he didn’t know any better. Hopefully other teams will be as generous.

  3. tylerbetts - Feb 12, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    I don’t see anything wrong with what Berhalter did, though I admittedly see the situation through canary-tinted glasses.

    He’s telling the fans that the Crew continue to explore options to bring in talent, and giving a specific example. He’s also stating that TFC is a poor judge of talent and the monetary worth of talent. All of those are things I like to hear from the man running the club I support.

    How is this different from someone in England saying the transfer fee is to high for a player, or a GM in baseball saying they trade for x superstar because the other team wants to many assets?

    I love Paulson, but I think he’s overreacting here. But it was fun to see two MLS owners arguing on Twitter …

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