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Thursday's Practice Pitch Updates with Berhalter Audio

The Crew were back on the training pitch on Thursday after a last second loss the previous night.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

After falling 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City on a stoppage time goal from Benny Feilhaber, the Columbus Crew were back to work on Thursday.

In the final session of practice, the Black and Gold played a half field game, working on movement and ball control.

Conversation with Gregg Berhalter

  • Asked about the mood the day after the 2-1 loss, Berhalter restated that his team are not victims; they accept responsibility and they move forward. The difference between a point and zero points was one play, Berhalter pointed out. They analyze it and move forward.
  • The head coach said the players that didn't play last night had a hard training session and the group that did play did regen and recovery today.
  • Asked if he was going to mix it up this weekend, he said we'll see. The plan going into the week was to monitor how players did.
  • Berhalter clarified that Wil Trapp, who was on three yellow cards going into the game, got a fourth and then a fifth, but since the fifth was a red card, he is not suspended two games, just one. He remains on four yellow cards going forward, one game away from another suspension.
  • Berhalter explained again that Federico Higuain was not intended to be a striker. The wingers were supposed to play higher and Higuain would help win the midfield. He said he didn't think it worked too well and credited Kansas City for their pressure, but also said his team could have had better movement. The idea was they would keep the outside backs back and keep them from helping in the midfield.
  • Of this formation, Berhalter said they will keep this around in case they need to use it again. He also pointed to the way they played in the U.S. Open Cup against the Chicago Fire (with three defenders and two wing backs) as different ways they can play if needed and they want to develop flexibility.
  • Berhatler was asked about how they handle looking at opponents with three games in a week. He said they've already looked at the Montreal Impact.
  • Of the Impact, Berhalter called them a good team with good attacking quality. He mentioned Marco Di Vaio ("has an unbelievable scoring record"), Jack McInerney, Andres Romero, and Justin Mapp.
  • Asked about transfer updates, Berhalter said they're working. He corrected that high profile is a stretch, but they want to bring in quality. He said it's very difficult, without spending Michael Bradley money, to bring in a guy who becomes a face of the franchise player right away. They want it to be an exciting signing and someone who can make an impact.
  • Asked about Ethan Finlay saying post game that he would have been disappointed with even one point in the Sporting game, Berhalter said they like that but the first half performance didn't indicate that. He wants the performance to be there first.

Berhalter Audio 07-17