News has leaked that the Columbus Crew are looking to fill a void left by the recently departed Chad Marshall. Sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter has confirmed that talks are underway with 32-year-old Hertha Berlin defender Maik Franz. With Marshall and Danny O'Rourke gone, the Crew are in need of a senior captain.
Franz has been in the Bundesliga his entire career and has made a few appearances on the German national team. With over 250 appearances to date, he has proven a reliable option when needed.
At first it looked like the transfer was nothing but speculation. A club spokesman was declining the notion on Jan. 23, saying the notion was “bogus”. Berhalter confirmed the talks the very next day.
“We've spoken to his agent,” Berhalter told MLSsoccer.com. “He's a guy that was identified by us, and he could be a potential target.”
Berhalter explained why Franz would fit well into the squad, “He's physical, he's good in the air, he's played in the Bundesliga for a long time, so he's a good, quality player.”
This move, if successful, would be a positive boost for a young Columbus team. In addition, the experience of a player from Europe could help the heavily North American roster. All that can be done is to wait and see if the Bundesliga veteran comes to America.