It was a good day if you're a member of the media and enjoy watching Columbus Crew SC practice. Tuesday allowed for some good viewing of the Black and Gold's session at the EAS Training Center in Obetz.
When the doors opened, the team was playing a scrimmage on a 2/3 size field. A quick observation of the teams revealed the Austin Aztex loanees, Adam Bedell and Kalen Ryden, were back in town. Ryden played center back for one of the teams while Bedell played underneath Aaron Schoenfeld.
Michael Parkhurst, Kei Kamara, and Federico Higuain switched with Ryden, Bedell, and Schoenfeld between games where they went to a smaller field and worked on crossing and finishing.
Something things to note: Hector Jimenez returned to training after missing last weekend's game for "medical reasons" (more below). Ben Swanson played alongside Mohammed Saeid in the midfield on one team while Kevan George was with Tony Tchani on the opposite side.
After training finishing and the team went through their stretching session, Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter spoke with the media.
Conversation with Berhalter
- Berhalter called Friday's 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire, where Crew SC led 2-0 in the second half, a lesson to his team.
- Berhalter said winger Ethan Finlay, who left the game early, has a broken toe. He said the midfielder should be able to play with the injury, but they will have to manage the situation. Berhalter couldn't tell today how much of a hinderance the injury would be in the limited part of training Finlay took part in.
- Berhalter said they will play two lineups for 45 minutes each in tomorrow's international friendly with Valencia. He's excited for the fans to get to see Valencia's players up close and he wants to get players time who haven't seen much of the field during the regular season.
- The friendly will be a good chance to see Bedell and Ryden play with their Crew SC teammates. Berhalter said he thinks those two will likely stay in Columbus for a couple of weeks.
- Berhalter said Valencia reached out to Crew SC President of Business Andy Loughnane initially and that might have had to do with how the Black and Gold play.
- Looking forward to Orlando City SC on the road this weekend, Berhalter said they know it's going to be a difficult game. He said City will attempt to carry their home form from the 4-0 win over the LA Galaxy two weeks ago. Crew SC will try and take advantage of some of the weaknesses they saw in Orlando during the first meeting.
- Berhalter was asked about fatigue over the next few matches and said they will change the lineup up during the congestion. Columbus will play four games between now and June 6, two on the road.
- Berhalter was asked about the absence of Brek Shea for Orlando. He said it's a positive for Crew SC because Shea is a good player, but the Black and Gold will have to deal with the next guy.
- The head coach said the U.S. Open Cup draw is what it is; they can't control if they play home or away. Columbus will either travel to Jacksonville or Richmond, depending on the result in the next round. He said any time you're in a competition, you want to win it but that doesn't mean they won't give other players an opportunity. They will still put players on the field that can win games.
- Jimenez had a injection to help for pain he's been experiencing in his oblique and was too sore to play on Friday night. Said he was feeling better today.
- Berhalter said both midfielder Wil Trapp and backup goalkeeper Matt Lampson are doing well returning from injuries and both took partial part in training today. The head coach said it was good to see Trapp back out there and it's good to see him progressing. No timetable yet for his return.
- The Austin Aztex have dealt with flooding at their stadium and Berhalter said they have the next couple of games on the road. He said thoughts go out to those dealing with flooding issues down south.
- Berhalter joked that he would rather Kamara win MLS Player of the Week when they win a game. Called him a perfect striker in the system.
- The head coach was asked about already playing Orlando and he said it is helpful. He called the first game an unknown, but said they have a better grasp on what City will do now.