Defender Josh Williams made 14 appearances for the Columbus Crew before having blood clot-related surgery. The doctors then had to remove a rib that was pinching the vein and causing more complications. Tuesday's scrimmage with Indy Eleven was his first opportunity to get back into a game situation since then, after being cleared to play on Saturday.
Center back Emanuel Pogatetz signed with the the Crew in early September and has been looking to get match fit since in order to contribute. The scrimmage was his first game action with his new team and allowed him to see how he faired after all the conditioning.
Each player spoke with the gathered members of the media when the match concluded.
- Williams wasn't sure when the last time he played 45 minutes of soccer but said it might have been in the U.S. Open Cup game against Indy Eleven. He said it felt good. He took a knock and wasn't sure how he was going to respond, but said everything was alright.
- Asked about playing both right back and center back, Williams said he thought it was a fitness issue. He said the trainers were careful with him and center back doesn't require as much running.
- Williams said it's good enough for him to play in this scrimmage and get back before the end of the year. He said he was mentally prepared to take the year off so competing again was good (that's what he missed most).
- He said he has been full go since Saturday, but he can't get game fit from just running around the training field.
- Asked about his beard, Williams gave a shout out to Eddie Gaven. He said he started growing it two or three months ago and the plan is to keep it going until he's back on the field, today did not count.
- Williams said there's nothing he can do but play games in order to get his fitness back.
- The center back said it was good to get a game and it was a good test today.
- He said it's different from training to get into a game. He said it was important to get out there even though it was only 60 minutes. He called it another step forward after not playing for nearly three months.
- Pogatetz admitted to being a little rusty in a game atmosphere although he said he was pleased with how it went. He said a couple more games should get him to 100%.
- Pogatetz said it is difficult to be patient because he would love to be fit and helping the team, but he realizes he has to work hard every day and hope it won't be too long until he can play.
- Pogatetz said the chemistry with his teammates is good and is getting better.
- The center back says he is finally getting settled in Columbus. He said he's getting into a routine and hopes to move into his own place and get his own car next week.