After a day off on Tuesday, the Columbus Crew were back on the training ground on Wednesday morning. With another important game this weekend, the Black and Gold went through a tough session.
As the media entered the compound, the practice had already begun winding down for the day. Many of the players went through their usual post-practice stretches, but some continued their work. On the far side of the field, several of the offensive players worked through some shooting drills. Other players were passing the ball around along the field and juggling as well.
All of the players on loan to the Dayton Dutch Lions were back at training, as they were on Monday, after the Lions' season concluded last Friday.
Adam Bedell was dressed in street clothes and did not practice after an appendectomy Sunday night. Both Federico Higuain and Daniel Paladini were not on the field when the media entered. More on all that below.
There was a new face training with Columbus. Head coach Gregg Berhalter gave the details in his talk with the media.
Conversation with Berhalter
- Berhalter began by talking about the new iPhone 6. He advised selling Apple stock, as he believes they are trying to catch other companies instead of other companies attempting to catch them.
- Asked about having Steve Clark in goal when attempting to make a playoff push, Berhalter said it is big. He said the goalkeeper has won the team points throughout the year.
- Berhalter said Justin Meram was substituted in the 66th minute because his knee was bothering him. The head coach said he would like his player to stay out there and get a hat trick but didn't want to take a chance. He said it worked out because it gave Bernardo Anor more minutes in his comeback. Berhalter said Meram was fine now.
- Asked if he looked at the left midfielder position as Meram's spot, Berhalter said there is a lot of depth in those spots and it's difficult to say one guy has locked down a starting role.
- Berhalter called Meram an interesting player on video when he first got there. He said he saw potential in him. The head coach said Meram is a natural fit for the system in a certain area of the field. They still want to work with him on his movement off the ball and where and when he's dribbling or being a possession player.
- Asked when new signing Emanuel Pogatetz will arrive, Berhalter said he wasn't sure on the latest news but he thought tomorrow (Thursday). He said there was an issue at the embassy so they have to see if everything came through.
- Berhalter said the new face is Eder Guerrero. He's a Mexican-American who has been playing in Mexico for the last couple of years. Berhalter said he was brought in to train with the team for a couple of day and they are evaluating him.
- The head coach said Pipa took half the training session off after feeling tightness in his hamstring. He said Paladini had a little hip tightness but trained the majority of the session.
- Berhater said Bedell had an appendectomy Sunday night after the game. He said he felt pain before the match and the doctors told him to come after and they did surgery. Berhalter admitted it did impact his personnel decisions for the Chivas USA game. He said he should be back next week if not sooner.
- Berhalter said you have to balance between watching how they dismantled the Houston Dynamo 3-0 a few weeks ago and how the Dynamo have responded in their preparation. He said Houston's plan likely won't change much but the personnel may be different