The Columbus Crew finished up preparations for Wednesday's clash with Real Salt Lake as the media entered the practice facility on Tuesday.
Drills were completed for the day and players worked on individual things with coaches, talked among themselves, or completed interviews. The mood seemed to be very good for a team coming off a disheartening, last second loss on Saturday to Toronto FC, indicating the attention has been turned to getting three points on Wednesday.
Hector Jimenez and Ethan Finlay stood on the sideline teaching each other individual tricks with the ball. They weren't all things you will likely see in a game, rainbows and the like, but it was fun to watch. Both players have very quick feet that Crew fans may not have seen yet.
Conversation with Gregg Berhalter
- Asked about defending as a team, Berhalter said when evaluating defense he starts from the goalkeeper and moves forward. He said he thought the forwards did a good job defending against Toronto.
- Berhalter continued to preach the process and said a lot of their game depends on confidence. When confidence is high players are likely to take risks - in a good way. He said they do have to instill confidence so that players will take on their opponent a play their style.
- When asked about the Salt Lake midfield, Berhalter said they overload the midfield and get possession that way. He said the Black and Gold do something similar but in a different way and it will be interesting to see how this game plays out with two possession-based teams.
- Berhalter said the Crew will setup a little bit for how Real plays. He stated there are things the staff has highlighted about Salt Lake's game but he continues to preach to play their game offensively and make them defend.
- Berhalter said they've seen enough of the players Real will use - with players away on international duty or injured - that they know what to expect.
- Asked if he thinks Javier Morales is similar to Federico Higuain, Berhalter called them very comparable. He called Morales one of the best players in the league over the last five years.
- Berhalter said midfielder Wil Trapp was slightly limited today in training after his knee knock that forced him to miss the Toronto game. He will be evaluated after treatment. Berhalter said he was more active on Tuesday than Monday.
- Asked about Brad Stuver, Berhalter said he had ankle surgery. He said the procedure went well and he will likely be out a couple more weeks. Stuver noticed the injury during a game on loan with the Dayton Dutch Lions.