COLUMBUS – The Columbus Crew announced today that it has hired Asher Mendelsohn as Director of Soccer Operations and Josh Wolff as Assistant Coach. Effective immediately, Mendelsohn departs U.S. Soccer as Director of Referees, Coaching Administration and Development Academy Programs while Wolff completes his tenure as Assistant Coach for D.C. United, the club where he finished his 15-year professional playing career. Per club and MLS policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed and further staffing updates will be provided when available.
Mendelsohn is tasked with overseeing the Crew’s competition guidelines and salary cap management, player identification and acquisitions, as well as assisting with the implementation of the club’s technical vision. Wolff becomes the first Assistant Coach to join Berhalter’s staff, as the former U.S. Men’s National Team and Major League Soccer veteran brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience to the Black & Gold.
“With these two additions to the staff, I feel that we are adding strong pieces to the technical side of our organization,” said Crew Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “Both Asher and Josh have been involved with U.S. Soccer at the highest levels for many years and they cover a broad range of experience.”
Bringing nine years of experience with the U.S. Soccer Federation, Mendelsohn first served as Member Services Coordinator for two years before the creation of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, which emerged in 2007 as the top-tier for the nation’s youth soccer ranks. He transitioned to a role as Manager of the Development Academy for three years before accepting the expansive position of Director of Referees, Coaching Administration and Development Academy Programs, a job he held for more than four years. In 2012, he was instrumental in Major League Soccer’s formation of the Professional Referee Organization (PRO), the group responsible for managing the referee program in professional soccer leagues in the United States and Canada.
“Asher is very familiar with the soccer landscape of America, having worked at different levels in U.S. Soccer,” said Berhalter. “He’s bright, hard-working and brings an analytical mind that will be integral to our technical staff.”
Wolff joins Berhalter’s staff after two seasons as an Assistant Coach on Ben Olsen’s staff at D.C. United following his retirement in the Nation’s Capital after 15 years in professional soccer, both domestically and abroad. He began his career with the Chicago Fire in the club’s 1998 inaugural – and MLS Cup-winning – season and in just 14 matches scored eight goals, tying him with the Crew’s Jeff Cunningham for a then-MLS rookie scoring record. Wolff would stay with the Men in Red through the end of the 2002 season and took home the 1998 and 2000 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles before he was traded to Kansas City. Wolff posted back-to-back 10-goal seasons in 2004 and 2005 and secured a third U.S. Open Cup title with the then-Wizards in 2004.
In 2007, Wolff signed with Germany’s 1860 Munich and played two seasons alongside Berhalter, who captained the club from 2006-2009. Wolff returned to Kansas City in 2008 and in 2011 was picked-up by D.C. United, where he finished his career before a transitioning to the Black-and-Red’s coaching staff in 2012.
“In Josh, we are adding a coach with a very good eye for offensive development,” continued Berhalter. “He will complement the coaching staff nicely as he’s a young coach with a bright mind and a playing career that demonstrated his intelligence on the field.”
Internationally, Wolff earned 52 caps with the United States Men’s National Team from 1999-2008 and scored nine goals. Wolff helped put Crew Stadium on the map globally in 2001 when he subbed-on for injured Crew legend Brian McBride in the 15th minute and proceeded to score the game-winning goal and recorded an assist in the inaugural “Dos a Cero” victory over Mexico in FIFA World Cup Qualifying, held on February 28, 2001 in sub-freezing temperatures.
WATCH: Wolff’s game-winning goal and assist with the U.S. Men’s National Team at Crew Stadium in the first “Dos a Cero” victory over Mexico in FIFA World Cup Qualifying on February 28, 2001 (video courtesy of U.S. Soccer’s “100 Moments: Dos a Cero Starts in Columbus”).
Mendelsohn and Wolff are Berhalter’s first hires as Sporting Director and Head Coach of the Crew, as the club prepares for the 2014 Major League Soccer campaign.