At Columbus Crew training on Tuesday, the Black and Gold continued their preparation for Wednesday's match with Sporting Kansas City.
Things were finishing up as the media entered the training facility, which meant more time to talk to head coach Gregg Berhalter on an eventful day.
Conversation with Berhalter
- When asked about the move the Crew made today, Berhalter joked, "What was that move?" He said Alvaro Rey was having a difficult time with personal issues that weighed on him and he asked to return to his home country (Spain). Berhalter said it wasn't an easy decision as they thought he could play a role for Columbus. Berhalter said in the meantime, they freed up some cap space to make a move.
- Berhalter stated this was not a situation they were aware of when they acquired Rey. He said it developed three days ago, calling it "an acute situation." Said it would have been present had he stayed in Toronto.
- Asked about the free cap space and contracts being guaranteed, Berhalter indicated that because it was a mutual termination, the Black and Gold are free of Rey's salary. The head coach could only indicate that it was "a good chuck of cap space" and " a lot."
- Berhalter indicated that the team expects to be active in the transfer market and they have devoted a lot of time and energy into a signing that's "going to be exciting for the club and help performance on the field."
- Asked about how close they were to completing a signing, Berhalter said, "we're getting there." He indicated they have roster spots and cap space so they can address the entire roster with the injuries, they are going to be active in a couple of positions. He wouldn't say when, but said he expects a move(s) before the window close.
- When asked about Wednesday's game with Sporting Kansas City, Berhalter said, "we're going to try something a little different." Admitted part of it will be out of necessity.
- Asked about Adam Bedell, Berhalter said he has been working hard every day. He pointed to his extra work on finishing each training session and how he did not hesitate on his chance in front of goal.
- Berhalter was asked to address the notion that Rey quit on the team and he said he did not think that was fair to say. He called him a young player who was out of his home country with no support system. He said Rey enjoyed his time here but couldn't perform because he was mentally in another place with family issues at home. He said they would prefer to have a guy that is here mentally and called it a blessing in disguise.
- Asked about Sporting's two World Cup players - Graham Zusi and Matt Besler - Berhalter said he expects them to be fatigued after playing so many minutes in Brazil under difficult conditions.
- The head coach called Dom Dwyer great. He said he picked up right where he left off last season and is a menace.
- Berhalter said they appealed the red card shown to Bernardo Anor and that was accepted. Said it was obviously not a straight red because there was no intent there. He is available for the Kansas City game.
- Asked about a residual affect of the World Cup on MLS, Berhalter said it's up to them to put a product on the field that people enjoy. They want to do that with their offense and their possession.
- Berhalter said Jario Arrieta's MRI on his hamstring showed a strong grade one. After saying it would likely be two to three weeks yesterday, he said it was probably more like three to four.