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Tuesday's Practice Pitch Updates With Berhalter Audio

Coming off the back of a big 4-1 win, the Black and Gold don't rest but keep working with another important match just days away.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Crew players had just finished their intense Tuesday training session as the media entered the Obetz compound. The players stretched as an assistant coach spoke to them about their weight lifting after training.

Coversation with Gregg Berhalter

  • Berhalter was asked what he saw of Ethan Finlay when he took over the team. He said he's the player they've seen the most improvement from this season. He said once Finlay became comfortable with the system, he's shown has the ability. He discussed his ability to sprint at high intensity throughout the game and said Finlay has done a good job of slowing it down which has helped him produce in front of goal.
  • Berhalter called Finlay one of the quicker guys on the team from training and they need that speed in those positions.
  • Berhalter discussed his conversations with Hector Jimenez when coming back from his MCL injury. He said he's experienced the injury and gave him the advice that stability will come back and you have to get over slight pain. He walked him through the stages of what to expect.
  • The head coach said he doesn't see the position of Finlay, Justin Meram, or any of those guys as wide midfielders in a traditional sense and they have freedom to go. He said they have two responsibilities, help in possession and get in behind the defense. He said it's good to see when things you're working on carry over into the game.
  • Berhalter said carrying this win on to the next games is the ultimate question. He said they've been playing well over this stretch of games excluding the Toronto FC game. He then went on a rant about how they shouldn't have lost all three of those games, as it is clearly still bugging him.
  • Asked about counter attacking in the second half instead of playing there style, Berhalter said you have to take what's given to you. He said the LA Galaxy were getting so many numbers forward that the Crew had to capitalize on the counter.
  • When asked if he got the sense that this was a win that could turn the season around, Berhalter said we talk about that every week. He said he doesn't think it will be one performance that will say they are there. He said it's a process and they're slowly moving towards consistency.
  • Berhalter was asked about Tony Tchani's performance against LA and he said it was a very dominate performance on both sides of the ball. He pointed out that his passing percentage was the highest on the team and his balls won were close to the top.
  • Berhalter said he thinks Tchani has had some other very strong performances. He pointed out that Tchani leads the team in minutes and says he is a guy they really count on. He said he knows there's been a lot of talk about him but he believes he's done well in what they've asked.
  • The head coach was asked about the Dayton Dutch Lions - the Crew's affiliate - going through a head coaching change. He said they haven't had much interaction due to schedules and said it's hard for him to say much about it because he isn't directly involved with their day-to-day operations. He said he will have to get on the same page with the new coach, but both teams are focusing on the individual teams than the collaboration because the seasons are winding down.
  • Asked about Aaron Schoenfeld becoming more comfortable, Berhatler said he's done great. He says he brings energy, physicalness, desire, work rate, and everything you want when he comes into a game. He said his time in Dayton gave Schoenfeld confidence because he scored while on loan and pointed to the lack of hesitation on his shot that struck the post against the Galaxy. He said good things happen when a player has confidence.
  • Berhalter said they are working with Meram on his consistency and his own expectations of his performance. Berhalter called him a game changer. Berhalter also said Meram is seeing what's in front of him and making the right decisions, as seen on his assist to Finlay.

Berhalter 08-19