After taking Thursday off, Columbus Crew SC went back to work Friday morning.
When the media was allowed in, head coach Gregg Berhalter and his staff had the players working on a small field, playing small-sided games that involved attacking one goal and quickly countering the other way.
After the team exercises were over, the players broke off into positional practice, working on certain skillsets with specific coaches.
Berhalter addressed the media after the conclusion of practice. Here's what he had to say at the week's end.
Conversation with Berhalter
- Berhalter said the team's next opponent, the Vancouver Whitecaps, are a very good counterattacking team. He also said they give up very few chances defensively.
- Despite two games in quick succession, the team is taking it one game at a time. Berhalter said the focus is on getting a result in Vancouver and then they will switch to the New England Revolution.
- Berhalter said Justin Meram and Waylon Francis returned from international duty. Francis has a "little ankle sprain" but should be back in training tomorrow and Meram is doing fine and trained today.
- Wil Trapp and Kei Kamara, who have both been limited this week, will be in full training tomorrow.
- Asked how the team will approach the Whitecaps, who are on a three-game winning streak, Berhalter said they want to take their game to every team. He admitted Vancouver has momentum right now and their belief will go a long way.
- Berhalter said he doesn't expect the Whitecaps to simulate what the New York Red Bulls did to Crew SC last week. He said if they watched the tape, Vancouver will realize that New York could have conceded six goals. He said he doesn't think many teams are ready to play that risky.
- Berhalter explained that Kenny Cooper was available through waivers, but he wouldn't comment on "guys that aren't on our roster."
- Columbus has managed the necessary lineup changes well, according to Berhalter. He said over the course of the season, you want to give guys meaningful minutes and they are getting a chance now to show they should be starters.
- Cederick should be here in June, but he can't play until July 6.
- Berhalter was asked if he thought that last year's playoff loss to New England was something that was still on the players minds and motivated them. He responded that he hopes it is.