The Columbus Crew went all the way to MLS Cup in 2015, but were awful in 2016 and missed the playoffs entirely. Now it looks like they're ready to make some big changes.
What is in store for the Crew this winter?
Find an alternative to Federico Higuain
It was a rough year for Federico Higuain, as he got into a tiff with Kei Kamara early in the season, dealt with injuries and generally underwhelmed when he was on the pitch. It's way too early to say that Higuain can't still be a great player in MLS, but it was obvious how dependent the Crew have been on him and that they desperately need a Plan B or even Plan C. The Crew need another dynamic attacker, whether that's to replace Higuain or pair with him.
Jennifer BuchananJennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Rebuild the defense
Michael Parkhurst has been traded to Atlanta United, and seeing as he was the team's best defender, it tells you what the Crew think of their defense. They need to get better all across the backline and that's not just defending. With the way Gregg Berhalter wants the team to play, they need defenders who can play with the ball at their feet and initiate the attack too. The Crew have a ton of work to do with their defense.
Vincent CarchiettaVincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Spend some money
The Crew had just one DP on their roster after trading Kamara. In a league where almost every team has at least two, and many have three, that stands out. The Crew need to spend some money and that includes DPs to show they're capable of competing on and off the field. That doesn't mean they have to out-bid the Galaxy or NYCFC for a player -- clearly, they're a small market team with limitations -- but you can't look at FC Dallas and use them as a model without acknowledging that they nabbed Mauro Diaz and Carlos Gruezo as DPs to go along with their youth and depth.
Joseph MaioranaJoe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Show some patience
Both Berhalter and owner Anthony Precourt have said that there's going to be a lot of turnover this offseason as they remake the squad. That's reasonable and might even turn out well, but only if they show patience at the start of next season. It will take time to figure everyone out and get the team to play together. If you want to rebuild a team, you need to give them time to gel.
Greg BartramGreg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Ditch the horrible secondary kit
OK, so this doesn't affect anything on the field, but seriously, they're hideous.