Practice was in its final stage as the media entered the facility in Obetz. The Crew were working on a crossing and finishing drill with a little added competition.
Wingers and outside backs, along with head coach Gregg Berhalter, were on the outside delivering crosses in on the run while two players at a time made runs in to the box and tried to finish with a one-time shot out of the air. The players were broken up into teams and the final round was Federico Higuain and Eric Gehrig v. Daniel Paladini and Tyson Wahl.
The players had fun with the drill, with a lot of yelling and trash talk, but also a sense of wanting to score and win. The level was high on each attempt and Higuain - the cheeky player that he is - even interfered in one chance for team Tyson/Paladini, as he was "slowly walking back."
Tyson Wahl had several nice finishes, volleying balls out of the air and placing his shots past the goalkeeper.
Higuain had perhaps the best shot attempt of the year, training field or otherwise. On a ball delivered a bit higher than he expected, the forward, who had already committed to the header, fell forward and attempted to overhead heel the ball into the net as he fell. His redirect went just wide and Higuain and Gehrig were left yelling at what might have been.
Conversation with Berhalter
- Berhalter said the team has to move on from Saturday. He reiterated a message he used earlier in the year, "they beat us on Saturday, don't let them beat us on Wednesday," one he learned from Bruce Arena. He said they looked at the video quickly and now they move forward.
- The head coach stated that Real Salt Lake, despite suffering their first loss of the season on Saturday, are still one of the best teams in the league and he expects a tough game. He said their loss was more of a one off, playing on turf in Seattle.
- Berhalter said as a player he liked quick turnarounds after losses. He said as a coach he guesses he does as well. He said he feels the players are anxious to get back on the field.
- Berhalter said he worries about away atmospheres affecting the team. He not only pointed to the Toronto loss, but also the 3-3 tie with the Portland Timbers, where the home team twice came from behind in the final 10 minutes. He tells his team to rise to the occasion and thrive in it.
- He called the Seattle game a different game because they weren't chasing the game as much, the Sounders were content for the tie.
- Asked about lineup changes, Berhalter said there will be changes. He said the next lineup won't necessarily have to do with performances but keeping players fresh.
- Ideally, Berhalter said they wanted nine points this week. Now they can get six, but they have to get the first three first.
- Asked about Salt Lake's consistency over the years, Berhalter said there are a couple of things. He started with their core group of players that has stuck together, their same system, their coaching staff and front office staying relatively the same.
- Berhalter said Wil Trapp did train but ended early. He will be evaluated later today but he expected the midfielder to be listed as questionable. Said Trapp did something in training and kept playing but then noticed it was a little sore. Called it a knee tweak but said he doesn't think it's too bad.
- Asked about the changes for the Real game, Berhalter said they will mix it up a bit and it will test the depth of the group. He pointed to the new faces that finished the game against Toronto as an indication.