Columbus Crew SC concluded their brief preseason stint in the home city before heading to Austin for their first competitive action against someone besides teammates. Head coach Gregg Berhalter took a few minutes to speak to the media in person before embarking south for the rest of preseason.
Conversation with Berhalter
- Berhalter said they wanted to get one tough session in while in Columbus and did that on Tuesday. He said it was high intensity and they did some defensive work as well.
- The head coach said he's looking for game fitness in Austin. He said he's not concerned with who's playing and they plan to mix up the lineup. He said he wants the players to get 45 minutes per game. Berhalter did say that the formation will be important in these games.
- Berhalter said now is the time to also begin to add some new wrinkles and things to their play. He said in Austin they can see how the opponents act to what they are doing.
- Berhalter said it's hard to judge preseason based on result. He said you look at how the team is playing, the fitness level, and the injuries.
- When asked if he was excited to see the team play someone else, Berhalter responded absolutely. He believes the tournament will be fun in Austin and another good tournament at IMG.
- The question was raised about chemistry in some key positions. Berhalter said it was getting there. He said Kei Kamara and Federico Higuain have a good relationship on the field. He also said he likes what he's seen from the fullback/wide attacking midfield combinations.
- Berhalter was asked if anyone has stood out in positions that are up for battle but only said that most of the new guys have done well. He reiterated that it's been more difficult for the rookies, but that that's understandable.
- Berhalter said they would make an official announcement/let it be known later in preseason who would captain the side in 2015.
- The head coach said new assistant Sixten Boström is doing well. He said he's going to take time to integrate and get comfortable with the group like anyone else.
- Berhalter was asked about his fullbacks and said he likes what he's seen out of the new guys. He said he sees more depth there this year than he did a year ago.
- When asked if he does any scouting on the opposition for Austin, Berhalter said they do not. He said they may play groups of 11 that no one will see again because of the combinations. He said it's difficult to try and scout that stuff and their focus is on how they play.