The media didn't see much of Columbus Crew SC's training on Tuesday morning at the EAS Training Center, but from outside it sounded like there was some high intensity going on inside.
There was lots of yelling and excitement, as there must have been some type of tournament going on. Matt Lampson could be heard getting on his teammates during the games and others were clearly excited when their side won.
As those gathered walked in, midfielder Ethan Finlay was waiting, preparing to address his two goal performance that earned him MLS Team of the Week and MLS Player of the Week honors. As others walked to the locker room, many gave Finlay a hard time for being this week's super star. Finlay took it in stride with a slight smile.
Conversation with Finlay
- The winger first credited his teammates for helping to set him up for the two goals on Saturday night. The always humble winger said the team is scoring goals and winning games and that's what's important.
- Finlay put the award in perspective, saying it is a great accolade but it's only one week that's a part of long season. He said again that he couldn't have done it without the setups from his teammates, specifically pointing to the pass from Kei Kamara.
- The confidence of the team is really high, but there is a challenge this weekend with D.C. United, Finlay said. "They're ahead of us in the standings and we want to be the best team in the East, so it's going to be a great game and I'm looking forward to it."
- Finlay was asked about the difference from this time last year offensively and he said they're settling in to the system better because most guys have been in it for over a year now. He pointed out that they were playing well by mid-summer a year ago.
- Crew SC have had success in D.C. recently, but Finlay pointed out how well United has played. He mentioned several of their players who have stepped up in the absence of typical starters and the return of Fabian Espindola for reasons why Saturday's game will be tough.
After finishing up a game with assistant coach Josh Wolff, midfielder Hector Jimenez, and center back Michael Parkhurst on the field, head coach Gregg Berhalter addressed the media.
Conversation with Berhalter
- The head coach was asked about what he's most pleased with and what he's concerned about with his offense right now. He began with concerns saying you always want things to be more precise and accurate and said there were some movements they saw on film that they can still improve upon.
- On the other hand, he likes that his attacking group is getting both goals and assists, "I think that's the most important thing. They're looking to each other to play, they're looking for each other for success, and that's great."
- Finlay had a great game, Berhalter said. They are happy for him as a team. Berhalter said once again they are happy with how Finlay has been playing and now he gets validated around the league with the stats and the award and that's good for his confidence.
- Berhalter said you never know how to keep the offense going as a coach, but you focus on the process and the feedback on the process. "As long as we're doing the movements, good things will happen."
- Because the team was further ahead this year, they could focus more on results rather than the process. Berhalter said it was a challenge making sure everyone is at the same speed and the team remains a work in progress.
- "They're a good team," Berhalter said once again, this time discussing D.C. He said there's no teams in MLS that you take lightly, but went on to explain that what United's done over the last two years will make this a difficult game.
- Berhalter pointed out that the second goal on Saturday began with Michael Parkhurst. The fourth goal started with Steve Clark. It's a team game and everyone is integral and each player's movement is important.
- If Waylon Francis gets in advanced positions, he's going to deliver good balls Berhalter said when asked about the left back making the MLS Team of the Week. Defensively, aside from the goal, Francis played a solid game.
- Berhalter said Emanuel Pogatetz was limited today. He should be fine.
- Wil Trapp is still getting treatment. Berhalter said Trapp's concussion is being dealt with differently than the normal because of the time off.