As a cold and cloudy Wednesday morning bled into afternoon, the Columbus Crew finished training for the day. Although they had concluded before members of the media were permitted inside the grounds, it sounded as if they were having a spirited session. The sounds of whistles and cheering were frequently heard from outside the fences, as it appeared to be tournament day at the Obetz training fields.
Conversation with Gregg Berhalter
- The head coach said Michael Parkhurst fully trained today after leaving Sunday's game against the New York Red Bulls with a back issue. He said he feels like Parkhurst is go, but they will monitor the situation.
- Berhalter said he thought the time off was good for left back Waylon Francis. He said he's back in full and will be available for selection. He called Francis highly motivated to get back into the lineup and he's not too worried about any rust.
- Berhalter said Bernardo Anor and Chad Barson, who filled in a left back for Francis in the last game, had a tough job going against Lloyd Sam, but they did well.
- Berhalter was asked about a report linking the Crew to Silvio Romero of Lanus, he said he wasn't going to comment on players that's not on the roster. He was then asked if he's spoken to Lanus' manager and former Crew player Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Berhalter said they haven't spoken but said he would like to open dialogue because he could be a resource.
- Berhalter said they scout everywhere, including South America, and it would just be the right guy. He said they are in full scouting mode. "That's a 365 day job."
- With all that has gone on in the last few weeks with the rebrand and the addition of Kei Kamara, the players have maintained their focus and level of play. Berhalter said this team responds to having goals and they've done a great job of keeping their focus on the goals. "The team's very driven and looking to be successful."
- Berhalter said the team has discussed refocusing and setting their sights on third place. "We are trying to get third place, there's no secret about that. We want to get third place."
- Berhalter said avoiding the wild card game is out of their hands, but said it would be nice to avoid it.
- Berhalter reflected on the season saying the guys have worked extremely hard and everything the team has done is because of their effort and the dedication to the way they play. He called that gratifying.
- Berhalter said he thinks it's good they put themselves in the position for the playoffs. He called it a new ball game starting on Sunday.