Saturday night's Columbus Crew SC draw with Orlando City SC was a disappointment, but the Black & Gold don't have much time to reflect with another MLS game Wednesday night at the Philadelphia Union.
As the media entered the EAS Training Facility Monday morning, the majority of the starters plus Emanuel Pogatetz had finished with their session. Forward Kei Kamara, defender Waylon Francis, and midfielder Mohammed Saeid practiced free kicks, enjoying a good laugh as they hit shots over wall dummies all over the field.
Those who didn't play much in Saturday's match, plus Federico Higuain who came off after just 17 minutes due to the red card to Michael Parkhurst, worked on the far field in a small-sided training game.
After practice concluded, head coach Gregg Berhalter spoke with Justin Meram and Kalen Ryden before coming over to talk with the gathered media.
Conversation with Berhalter
- Berhalter said the team did not ask the league to review the red card issued to Parkhurst. He said they thought long and hard about it, but they had good indication that it was a play that would not be overturned. Berhalter said they will miss the team's captain on Wednesday, but he will be back Saturday.
- Asked about the availability of Pogatetz, who Berhalter planned to rest last Saturday, the head coach said the defender is available for the mid-week game. The Parkhurst red card does change the initial plan when dealing with match congestion this week.
- Berhalter praised both rookies Sergio Campbell and Kalen Ryden, who could be options at center back on Wednesday.
- Berhalter said midfielder Ethan Finlay came out of the game fine while playing on his broken toe for the first time. Said his determination carries him a far way.
- Tyson Wahl has been great this whole year, Berhalter said. He went on to say how nice it is to have a guy that you don't hesitate to put in the game. They are confident that he will do a good job when called upon.
- Berhalter said they haven't decided who will be captain against Philadelphia. With no Parkhurst and Wil Trapp still out with injury, Steve Clark wore the armband for the remainder of the game against Orlando.
- The only player Berhalter said (with a chuckle) it's safe to say fans won't see on Wednesday is Parkhurst. Anyone else is an option. Said the team will travel the usual number of 18 players.
- Berhalter said goalkeeper Matt Lampson is available. Said it's going to be tough to decide between him and Brad Stuver, who had a great game in the friendly against Valencia. He said the coaches will have to talk about who is the backup on Wednesday.
- Berhalter admitted that Philadelphia is a team Crew SC usually struggles with and they expect a tough game despite the Union's 3-8-3 record.
- The head coach was asked about the approach to the Philadelphia game after scoring four times against them earlier in the season. He said they want to stick to their style, but he knows playing in Philadelphia is not an easy place to play.
- Pogatetz did a good job coming off the bench. Berhalter believed the big center back partnered well with Wahl.
- The coaching staff is only focused on the game with the Union and has not begun preparation for the Montreal Impact on Saturday. He did say most of MLS followed the team's run through the CONCACAF Champions League and that was special.
- Berhalter said both teams on Saturday will be challenged by their schedules this week, but they'll be fine.
- The head coach thought this week's result was a step in the right direction after losing in San Jose when receiving a first half red card. This time the players were able to overcome that to take the lead back before getting out of the game with a result.