After just 13 months in MLS, defender Nico Naess was transferred from Columbus Crew SC to Dutch club Heerenveen. The Crew backline has changed a lot since he arrived but Crew coach Gregg
Berhalter said the intention was to always consider re-selling the young Norwegian.
Crew situation. Naess, 24, arrived in July 2016 and was slotted in as the replacement for Michael
Parkhurst when the Crew captain moved to expansion Atlanta United. But he had not been used in the last four games as the Crew won three games and tied one to shot up into third place in the
Coach Gregg Berhalter alternated between three in the back with Jonathan Mensah, Josh Williams and rookie Lalas Abubakar and two
centerbacks, Mensah and Williams, both offseason acquisitions.
Berhalter: Naess was a young player whom the Crew signed because
it could develop him and possibly re-sell him. He said the transfer came a little bit sooner than expected but this summer's window was the "greatest window to maximize this value."
Heerenveen situation. Naess' arrival Heerenveen comes the same day it sold Joost van Aken to Sheffield Wednesday in England. He could
step in at center back for van Aken, but Heerenveen coach Gerry Hamstra likes his versatility and could use him in midfield.
Naess joins two other Norwegians -- Martin
Odegaard (on loan from Real Madrid) and Morten Thorsby -- at Heerenveen.