Through three preseason matches so far in 2015, Crew SC supporters have had a chance to catch their first glimpse of several of the club's new additions this season. Perhaps garnering the most attention in the early going has been Argentine rightback Hernan Grana.
The former Boca Juniors defender has packed a punch out of the Black & Gold backline to spark the Crew SC attack, yet seems to always be in the right spot to snuff out the opponent's offense so far this preseason. Grana's attacking ability has been a pleasant surprise for Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter.
"Hernan’s done well so far," Berhalter said over the phone on Thursday. "I think what we like about him is that he’s adapted very quickly on how we want to play. I think when we saw him at Boca Juniors, he was more defensive-orientated. We knew he had some offensive qualities in him, but he was a very good defender. Now, we’re seeing that offensive side as well. That’s good to see.
"Obviously, it’s not a finished project. We still have work to do, but he’s made a big impact so far and we’re happy."
Grana's latest offensive exploits came in Crew SC's 7-0 win over London United to kick-off the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic in Bradenton, Fla. The Argentine had a hand in four of the Black & Gold's seven goals on the day, picking up two goals and two assists in the win.
However, it may be a while before fans see the Argentine in action again this preseason. Grana is taking a break from camp ahead of Crew SC's match against the Costa Rica Under-23 National Team on Saturday to be with his family and welcome a new son into the world.
"We want to be a team that looks after its players," Berhalter said. "This is a family issue, it’s the birth of his son. It’s an important moment for any father, and we want him to be there. He wants to be there. He’s excused from training camp for now. "