Columbus Crew SC don't have an MLS game this week, but will begin play in the U.S. Open Cup fourth round on Wednesday. The team travels to take on the Richmond Kickers Wednesday night in the one-and-done style tournament.
After a late game Saturday night due to a weather delay, the Crew SC starters did not participate in the final 30 minutes of training that was open to the media at the EAS Training Center Monday morning.
Those that were out there, worked on attacking movement with the coaching staff before the forwards and Romain Gall practiced a finishing drill with assistant coach Josh Wolff.
For part of the time the media watched, midfielder Wil Trapp, who has been out several weeks with concussion issues, participated (more on that below).
Conversation with Gregg Berhalter
- The Crew SC head coach was asked about his strategy for the Open Cup and said it's to go on to the next round. They plan to put a team on the field that is ready to compete, but an exact lineup is still a work in progress.
- Berhalter said Trapp is doing well and is doing more and more at training. "We should have him almost in full team training." Berhalter said Trapp's fitness will be behind when he returns but he's been working hard. Trapp will not go on loan to the Austin Aztex once he's cleared to get match fitness.
- Crew SC reached out to coaches in the USL and have watched tape on Richmond. Berhalter called them a good team and said they anticipate a tough game on Wednesday.
- Berhalter said he thinks the Open Cup is a great tournament. He likes the potential story lines of upsets and teams competing at a higher level. He said it's exciting in Europe when lower-league teams make a run to the final and that's what makes it fun.
- No MLS game Saturday could impact the lineup for Wednesday. Berhalter said they don't have to be as cautious with the lineup they put out there with no game for a week. He said it's not as much about the players on the field, but their mindset.
- Berhalter was asked about his comments regarding movement and speed of play after Saturday's match. He said you are attempting to open up spaces and get the defense out of place. If Crew SC doesn't move, they become and an easy team to play against according to Berhalter.
- The Black & Gold has a goalkeeper from Michigan State training with the team for a couple of days. He appeared to be junior Zach Bennett.
- Berhalter said both Ethan Finlay and Justin Meram both put a lot of distance in when they play. He said they want that position to be a committee and they need to get some other guys to be productive in those roles.