It was another huge win for Columbus Crew SC on Sunday over the New York Red Bulls. The Black & Gold took a 2-0 over the Red Bulls in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Final and were back at practice on Tuesday morning after taking Monday off to recover.
Most of the starters from Sunday's game had finished their training by the time the media members were permitted into the EAS Training Center. The rest of the players took part in a 7 vs. 7 game where Jack McInerney took over. The forward was in the right place at the right time over and over again, scoring three times in one of the mini games.
After that finished, the players worked on penalty kicks before heading to the locker room to get warm.
Head coach Gregg Berhalter then spoke with the media members that were present.
Conversation with Berhalter
- Asked what the biggest challenge heading into the leg leg with a 2-0 lead, Berhalter said the game itself. He said the Red Bulls are a very good team at home and in general and it will present a lot of challenges.
- Berhalter said he thought New York did a decent job of pressing Columbus in the first game. This week will be used to come up with a new game plan. He said the Red Bulls are good at picking the ball in a team's defensive half and creating chances off that.
- After downplaying the importance of the second goal after the match, Berhalter said there is a difference between leading 1-0 and 2-0, but emphasized that the team will have to play a great game in New York.
- Berhalter said the perception that Crew SC is in a good position to advance to MLS Cup isn't the way the team sees it. He said if you ask the Red Bulls, they probably feel pretty good about going home and getting a result.
- The head coach gave a lot of credit to center back Tyson Wahl's performance after starting the game for the suspended Gaston Sauro in such a big game. He said Wahl showed why they value him in that game and it will be difficult choice between the two for this week's contest.
- The team isn't loose, but focused heading into the second leg according to Berhalter. He said they will just prepare the normal way.
- Berhalter gave credit to the front office for publicizing the game. He also said the community has been very supportive of the team. "I really feel this is the strongest support we've had so far since I've been here." He said his team is appreciative of that.
- Berhalter said what he likes most about Kei Kamara this postseason is his response after the first leg against the Montreal Impact. He said the forward is leading by example and getting other players involved and is doing a great job.
- The head coach said the key to all of these players is to relax because they're all good. There's no difference between regular season games and postseason ones.
- With Thanksgiving on Thursday and the game on Sunday, Berhalter hopes his team has a little less stuffing and a little more turkey. He said the staff will talk to the players, but they want the players to be with family and enjoy the day.