Despite having no game this weekend, Columbus Crew SC did not take a day off of training. The team has the weekend to relax, but there was one more session to get through before that started.
Today, the focus was on set pieces. The Black & Gold divided into two teams of offensive and defensive players for the drills. The team practiced corners, indirect free kicks, direct free kicks, you name it.
At the end, a winning side was announced based on certain criteria that proved effectiveness.
After the session concluded, some players remained on the field, playing a crossing finishing game with a partner. Head coach Gregg Berhalter and assistant coach Josh Wolff won that little competition.
Strutting over like a true champion, Berhalter chatted with the media.
Updates from Berhalter
- Berhalter said he got what he wanted out of this week in training. He stated that it was a very good week of practice. The team worked a lot on tactics and such and today was a bit more relaxed.
- Last week, Berhalter didn't like the intensity and focus of the team and that's not Crew SC. The head coach said this is a team that needs to be focused and bring intensity at all times. They can't show up and expect to win games.
- On Monday and Tuesday, the players were still thinking about the road loss to the New York Red Bulls. Berhalter said by Wednesday everyone was focused on this week and it was fully intensity, leading to the best session of the week.
- There were a lot of conversations between players and coaches this week. The team watched a lot of video and worked on tactical things. "Overall, it was a good week,"
- Kei Kamara was not present at training today. Berhalter said he was just getting some rest.
- Federico Higuain was dealing with "a little back issue today" and was held out of training but was present.
- With a late bye week this year, Berhalter said he'll watch the USA-Mexico game and pay attention to the MLS games throughout the week, but they are locked in and focused on getting over the line and making the playoffs. He said he thinks it's good to get away this weekend.
- Berhalter said they are still scouting and have already had conversations with some players with an eye on next year.
- Asked about Justin Meram, who left the Iraq game early, Berhalter said there's no injury. It was just a tactical decision.
- The players away on international duty will all be back by the middle of next week at the latest.