The Columbus Crew concluded their weekly work as they prepared for the Saturday arrival of the LA Galaxy.
As the media entered training on Friday morning, players worked in groups on different aspects of the game.
On one end of the field, assistant coach Josh Wolff worked with some of the attacking players on their movement around defenders and finishing. Wolff setup several situations where players either checked to the ball, crossed the ball, received a cross, or some combination with the like of Jairo Arrieta, Hector Jimenez, Ben Speas, and Romain Gall among others.
On the opposite side of the pitch, some of the wide players, including outside backs Eric Gehrig and Chad Barson, worked on their delivery of crosses to runners.
Midfielder Wil Trapp worked on his own towards the end of the session, setting up a line of obstacles and repeatedly dripping through them.
New signing 19-year old Gall looked raw in the offensive drills with Wolff teaching him as they went. He did show a nice ability to place the ball, finishing a few good opportunities over the 15 or 20 minutes.
Conversation with Gregg Berhalter
- Berhalter called the game with the Galaxy a good game. Said it wouldn't be easy but he expects a good performance.
- Berhalter was asked if he was putting anything extra into this game because it is against his former mentor, Bruce Arena. He said they put the same importance in every game, but admitted he was looking forward to going head-to-head with Arena. He called it a special day.
- Berhalter said Donovan has been the face of U.S. soccer for the last decade and it would be special for him to conclude his career at Columbus Crew Stadium.
- Berhalter said they identified areas the team needed to improve from last game and he believes they have. He said they've put the Toronto FC game behind them.
- Asked about comments earlier in the week that players needed to look at themselves and if they were being self critical enough, Berhalter said they need to be aware of each individual performance and the impact it can have on the group. He said players can't have subpar games and each player needs to bring their A game each week.
- The head coach said they were put in a situation where the team's defensive transition wasn't good and they paid the price for it against Toronto. He said they need to do a better job of organizing while they are attacking and that has been a focus this week.
- Berhalter was asked about Toronto's quick turnaround in form this season, while the Crew have struggled for results as the staff preaches patience. He responded that the Reds invested so much money that it's not really comparable. They play a counterattacking style that requires a couple of special players to make plays, while the Crew value the collective team and the values of each player. He said they feel that in the long run the Black and Gold will be alright despite doing it on a different budget and a different age, but it is fun to watch.
- Asked about Adam Bedell, Berhalter said he's done well. He said he's not a 20 goal a year guy yet, but he's done more than expected in terms of his performance in his rookie season. They have to be patient and continue to develop him.
- It was brought up that Giancarlo Gonzalez showed up on the injury report with hip injury. Berhalter said it came from last game, but he thought Gonzalez would be available on Saturday.
- Asked about changes being made to the lineup, Berhalter said there would be changes although he wasn't sure how drastic.
- When asked about LA's defense, Berhalter pointed to Omar Gonzalez and A.J. DeLaGarza calling them each one of the best center backs in the league. He said the Galaxy does a lot of defending when they have the ball, keeping the opponents in uncomfortable positions.
- Berhalter was asked about the special announcement in which owner Anthony Precourt tweeted. He said he didn't know if they had a new player and he wasn't sure about the announcement.