Columbus Crew SC's 2-1 defeat to the Montreal Impact Saturday night was their second in a row and fifth consecutive game without a win. Obviously the team is not happy, but one member of the Black & Gold use his Facebook page to voice his displeasure.
Emanuel Pogatetz was on the bench to start Columbus' 2-2 draw with Orlando City SC last Saturday, but entered the match early after a red card to his usual starting partner at center back, Michael Parkhurst. The defender started the mid-week contest with the Philadelphia Union, partnering rookie debutant Sergio Campbell in a 3-0 defeat. This weekend, Pogatetz was an unused substitute against Montreal and went to Facebook the following day to vent his frustrations.
Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter reacted positively on Monday to the post, telling reporters that he's happy players want to play, but voicing it a different way may be the better route.
"I think it's great," Berhalter said when asked about Pogatetz's rant. "I think it's great that you have guys anxious to get on the field and guys not satisfied with being substitutes. In terms of the forum for doing that, I think it could have been more useful to talk directly to the coaching staff, but we need guys that want to be on the field. I think that's a good sign."
The defender also spoke about the situation, saying he's talked with his head coach and everything is behind them.
"I had a conversation with the coach today," he said. "What happened happened, and I think we can't do anything about it now. So all I want to do is focus looking forward. I'm fully committed. I understand, and I want to help the team if I play or if I don't play."
After high expectations to begin the year, Columbus has hit a rough patch. The five games without a win dropped Crew SC to sixth place in the Eastern Conference. The Black & Gold remain in position to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs, but are now 12 points behind East leaders D.C. United.
During a stretch of three games in a week, Berhalter said there would be squad rotation to keep players fresh. After the red card to Parkhurst and the early introduction of Pogatetz, who was expected to rest, against Orlando, the head coach had to alter the plan some while still attempting to keep players rested.
For Pogatetz the frustration comes from the team's poor form, but also the lack of opportunity recently. The Austrian is a passionate player who wants to help his team win game.
"I think the most important thing is the team, and that’s what we all have to impress," he said. "That’s what I have to impress. I understand that, and from now on we just come together as a team and focus on getting results."