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Friday's Practice Pitch Updates with Berhalter Audio

The Crew were back at it in Obetz getting ready for the Impact to come to town.

Michael Dodge

At the end of Columbus Crew training, the players were divided into a few groups.

Kevan George, Tony Tchani, and Ethan Finlay were in the middle of practice field one juggling in a triangle. Eric Gehrig, Tyson Wahl, Justin Meram, Fifi Baiden, Ben Sweat, and Chad Barson were working on a crossing and finishing drill. Michael Parkhurst, Adam Bedell, Federico Higuain, and Giancarlo Gonzalez were sitting and stretching.

On the far field, some of the more attacking players were working on a finishing drill with assistant coach Josh Wolff.

Notes

There were a few new faces at training but it turned out they were members of the Crew's college program, not potential new signings.

Conversation with Gregg Berhalter

  • Asked about his statement that they aren't victims, Berhalter said it had to do with the reactions after the loss to Sporting Kansas City. He said the message is, get your heads up and realize they could have done something about this. Accept the failure, learn from it, and move on.
  • He said there is disappointment involved in his team, but they are getting there. He said the last loss hurt but they lost to last year's Supporters Shield and MLS Cup winners back-to-back so the opponents weren't bad and they could have gotten more out of those games.
  • Berhalter wouldn't say that playing a team at the bottom of the league brings any more urgency. He said every game brings urgency and they wanted three points against Kansas City. They're playing Montreal at home and they want to win.
  • Berhalter complimented Gonzalez and Parkhurst for their performances on Wednesday in shutting down Dom Dwyer. He also credited Higuain for battling through two tough games after returning from injury. Said he hopes that provides a boost to the other players.
  • When asked if a win over Montreal would help take pressure off his team, Berhalter said he doesn't know where the pressure comes from. He knows there is pressure, but pointed out there are 15 games left and they're three points out of the playoffs. He said there shouldn't be pressure in wanting his team to play good soccer and stick to what they're doing.
  • Asked about replacing Wil Trapp, Berhalter said they look to see who is fit and find an alternative. Asked if George would be an alternative, Berhalter said he would even though George was sent to the Dayton Dutch Lions to work on playing center back.
  • Berhalter was asked about defender Josh Williams and said he had an operation for his blood clot Wednesday and is out for an extended period, a month maybe more. He said they took out a rib that was pinching the vein and it was extensive surgery. The clot was upgraded after initial procedure didn't fix the problem. He said now he is alright.
  • Asked about Daniel Paladini being the substitute for a Bedell for halftime, Berhalter said it was kind of tactical. He said he is in line to possibly replace Trapp and he felt things worked better in the second half (even before the red card).
  • Berhalter said Alex Martinez's status (on trail) in unchaged. He said they are closer to making a decision.
  • Berhalter said again, "we're working on it" when asked about transfers.
  • When asked about the standings and still only being three points out of a playoff spot, Berhalter said that's why they don't get caught up in it and keep your eye on the big picture. A win tomorrow puts them right in it. He said they don't want to have halves like against Sporting or part of the New York Red Bulls game.
  • Asked about the Montreal Impact as a team, Berhalter said they've done a lot to regroup and start playing better. He said they are a good team and it's going to be a good game.
  • Berhalter said there was nothing concrete to report on the Gonzalez transfer at this point. He said everything is agent driven.