Columbus Crew SC took to the training pitch for the second day this week Tuesday morning. With a match against the New England Revolution looming on Wednesday, it wasn't the typical intense Tuesday session.
Instead, most of the players had finished for the day as the media members entered the EAS Training Center.
Justin Meram and Steve Clark worked on the near goal on some shooting exercises (with Clark also practicing his distribution) and Mohammed Saeid worked on the opposite side on some passing exercises.
Some of the reserve players were on the far field with the assistant coaches, participating in what appeared to be a small-sided scrimmage.
Head coach Gregg Berhalter spoke with the reporters on hand after several minutes of speaking with midfielder Wil Trapp out on the field.
Conversation with Berhalter
- Berhatler was asked about the decision to appoint Tony Tchani captain for last week's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match. He said Tchani has played the most minutes aside from Steve Clark over the last two seasons and he keeps working hard no matter the situation. He said that mentality should be rewarded.
- In a similar regard, Berhalter said leadership isn't necessarily defined by being vocal and they want all sorts of kinds of leadership.
- Berhalter said his group has been mixed in terms of performances and that's why they haven't gotten the results they wanted. He said the team has underperformed by in large and that's why the club hasn't gotten the results they want.
- The head coach called Tchani a very good player, but said he has to do that each year for 10 years to be considered elite and they're still working on that.
- There is a week until MLS contracts are guaranteed and Berhalter was asked how set he is on this group. The head coach said they are evaluating that and there may be some movement, but he wouldn't guarantee that. The staff will talk internally and come to decisions before that deadline.
- Berhalter was asked about how much cap space Crew SC has and said, "That's an interesting question." He pointed out that they are adding Cedrick and may be in a position to do another move or two over the summer transfer window. "If we have a chance to improve the quality of our roster, we'll do that."
- Asked about the New England Revolution's recent form, one win in eight games, Berhalter said, "They have a lot in common with us don't they?" He said New England's a team that can beat anyone on any given day. He pointed to last Saturday's 2-1 loss to D.C. United, where the Revolution could have easily won the game.
- Berhalter said it's good to see New England come in with little rest because they've played several teams this year who have had short turnarounds or large travel (like when they played the Black & Gold earlier in the year).
- On Charlie Davies, Berhalter said he's done great. He said he's happy for a guy that can battle back from a bad injury (car accident) and return to form. He said he doesn't like to see him scoring for the Revolution, as they are direct competitors, but it's a great story for Davies.
- When asked what makes Davies so tough to defend, Berhalter said, "His movements. Simple as that." Called him one of the better strikers in the league this year.