After the dramatic 1-1 draw with D.C. United, which saw the 10-man Columbus Crew pull out a stoppage time equalizer, the Black and Gold were back on their Obetz practice pitch in preparation for Saturday's meeting with the New York Red Bulls.
Practice was concluded with a spirited 7 v. 7 with the team separated into three teams, made up of starters and reserves.
Waylon Francis looked dangerous going forward in the two games in which he was a part. On the small field, he possessed the ball more central than in a full field situation and had a couple of opportunities, one leading to a saved shot.
The recovering duo of Matt Wiet and Daniel Paladini both looked to be progressing. While Wiet may not be ready for a place in the 18 yet, it wouldn't be surprising to see Paladini on the Crew's bench as early as Saturday based on the small sample size.
Ethan Finlay looked impressive. If he has a good week of training, he could certainly earn the spot vacated by Bernardo Anor.
Conversation with Gregg Berhalter
- Berhalter discussed Wil Trapp's minor injury that is keeping him from fulfilling his call up with the U.S. U-21 National Team. He said they want to get him right and expected him to be in training this week. He said Trapp felt it tighten up last week and they didn't want to risk anything so they shut him down.
- In terms of his discussion with U-21 Head Coach Tab Ramos, Berhalter said he told Ramos Trapp could probably train one day with the team, but Ramos agreed it didn't make sense for him to go.
- Berhalter said both Trapp and Michael Parkhurst did some work today but weren't 100%. Parkhurst is still recovering from the knock he took early in the United game but Berhalter said neither injury was anything of concern.
- In terms of replacing the suspended Anor, Berhalter said they look at the players form in training this week and said there were several players that could take on this role.
- Asked about potentially moving a guy like Justin Meram to a starting role, Berhalter said he thinks that what Meram wants and he can take advantage of the situation and perform. He is confident in guys stepping up when needed.
- Berhalter said their style of play puts pressure on the entire team to score the first goal. He said it would be nice to see a team push it when they play at Columbus Crew Stadium. Giving up the first goal means the Crew aren't able to do that because a team can sit back.
- Berhalter said that he discussed the play with Anor that resulted in the red card briefly. He said Anor understands how they want to be perceived as a club and the play wasn't necessarily in line with that. There will be no additional repercussions.
- Asked about Matt Wiet, who is in training after being put on the Disabled List to begin the year, Berhalter said they still need integrate him into more 11 v. 11, but he's not sure on the time frame.
- Asked about the players on loan to the Dayton Dutch Lions, Berhalter said both Ross Friedman and Matt Walker were both nursing injuries and that is why they did not play on Saturday. Brad Stuver dealt with a concussion and is now cleared to play. Berhalter said he will play tonight in a friendly game. None of the Crew players are guaranteed a starting position and they have to battle while with the Dutch Lions.
- Berhalter said the team will scrimmage the University of West Virginia on Sunday.