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Monday's Practice Pitch Updates

A summary of what was said after Monday's Crew practice.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

After coming from behind for their 2-2 draw with the Houston Dynamo this weekend, the Columbus Crew were back on the practice field Monday morning. New signing Emanuel Pogatetz had his first full training with the side, after participating lightly on Friday.

Conversation with Gregg Berhalter

  • Asked about the MLS roster freeze that would occur at 5:00 EST on Monday, Berhalter said as of that moment they were not done. Berhalter stated there were possibilities of a signing, something they have been working on for a while. He said they want to add a good piece and if it is there they'll do it.
  • Berhalter said he likes where his team stands even if a signing doesn't get done. He said the group has come together nicely and it will be an interesting push towards the playoffs. Called it exciting.
  • Berhatler said Josh Williams will be put back on the roster once he is cleared to play by the doctors within the next couple of days. "Hopefully he'll come back. Right now he's not in full training yet." Berhalter said it will help to have options at right back and help to push the group.
  • Berhalter said of Pogatetz, "he's another one who has to get game fit." Said he looked good, but they will be working on his fitness. Berhalter said he can do everything but training is a lot different from a game. Berhalter said his chemistry with the team has been "perfect."
  • Berhalter said Pogatetz is a vocal player with good leadership qualities. Also mentioned his experience and toughness. The head coach said you need guys who can step up at this point in the season and he's a guy who can do that.
  • Berhalter admitted that it will be tough to throw a new player in during a playoff push. He said he's pleased with how the center backs have been playing but they want to get him fit and "let him go."
  • When asked about Justin Meram's knee, which had been bothering him, Berhalter said he is full go and has no restrictions.
  • Berhalter said the fight of his team against Houston was great. He said they caused the Dynamo a lot of problems and they reacted well in the first half but overall he was pleased with the approach of the game. He called the comeback exceptional. Pointed to the movement of his team, "our second goal had 18 passes in it before we scored."
  • Asked about Wil Trapp scoring his first goal, Berhalter said it helped spark the comeback. He said they know Trapp can hit the ball and now it's about accuracy.
  • Berhalter said he never had two penalty kicks waived off in a game before like they were against Houston.