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Wednesday's Practice Pitch Updates: Cold Weather, the Union, and Solid Defense

Crew SC had a big win on Saturday, but there's another test on the horizon this weekend.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

After several beautiful days of training last week, Mother Nature did not smile as brightly on central Ohio this week. Columbus Crew SC finished a chilly training session and headed for the warmth of the indoors as the media members entered the EAS Training Center.

Head coach Gregg Berhalter finished a post-training meeting and then spoke with those gathered.

Conversation with Berhalter

  • Berhalter was asked about the defensive play recently and he said he believes they've played well all year. He pointed to three shutouts in six games and games where they may not have earned the clean sheet, but limited the opposition's chances.
  • Although goalkeeper Steve Clark hasn't been talked about much this season, Berhalter said he's been solid for the team. Clark came up with some big saves when he had to against the Vancouver Whitecaps and has done what you want a goalkeeper to do.
  • The stat was thrown out that Crew SC has five goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half and Berhalter was asked what was happening at halftime. The head coach chuckled but then said he thinks it's the focus of his team to keep going and keep pushing. He said the team is fit and believes they are going to get stronger in the second half.
  • Of this weekend's opponent, the Philadelphia Union, Berhalter said they will bring intensity. He said the side's record doesn't indicate how good they are. He said it's a conference game so it will be tough.
  • Berhalter said Wil Trapp is still receiving treatment for his concussion-like symptoms and they are continuing just as they have been with Mohammed Saeid.
  • The red card from Saturday night was brought up, and how the players all came to Waylon Francis' defense after the tackle. Berhalter said first, you want the referee to handle the situation. He said that it appeared he showed a yellow card initially and that upset the players. Berhalter said in that situation, he would defend his teammate "100%."
  • Hernan Grana is a passionate, committed player. Berhalter said he plays with his heart and soul. Grana is still progressing with the system and the staff is still working with him.
  • Berhalter said Ben Swanson, who was just called up to the U.S. U-19 camp, is improving by getting used to the physical demands but also the speed of play of the professional game. They are happy with his progress.