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Monday's Practice Pitch Updates: Bad Performance, Chicago Fire, Wil Trapp's Fitness

Crew SC avoided the rain at training on Monday.

Saturday was a tough day for Columbus Crew SC, who lost 3-0 on the road to the Montreal Impact. After having Sunday off, the players were back out in training Monday morning.

As members of the media waited outside to be allowed in, several of the players who participated in the majority of the match showed up wearing training gear but in street shoes. These players included Chris Klute, Ethan Finlay, Tony Tchani, Waylon Francis, Kei Kamara, Emanuel Pogatetz, and Federico Higuain.

The players who trained, which included Mohammed Saeid and Wil Trapp who each played 45 minutes on Saturday, worked on a small field with small goals, before going to a larger field and playing a small-sided contest.

While the field players trained with the small goals, goalkeepers Steve Clark and Brad Stuver worked with assistant coach Pat Onstad. Clark focuses specifically on stopping shots at the near post, after bobbling a ball late against the Impact that led to the third goal.

Midfielder Cedrick, who joined the team last week after finishing his season in Spain, was a part of the training. Small fields make it hard to tell much about a player known for his speed, but he showed good movement and quick feet, which the Black & Gold could use on the wings.

After the session concluded assistant coach Josh Wolff worked with Saeid and Trapp on receiving passes across their body, taking a touch, and hitting a target with a pass on their second touch.

Head coach Gregg Berhalter had conversation with several of the players on the field before coming over to talk with the media.

Conversation with Berhalter

  • Berhalter was asked about the performance in Montreal and simply said it was not good and called it substandard. He said it was most concerning that you go down two goals in the first 10 minutes. It's hard to come back from two goals down on the road.
  • The head coach isn't worried about conceding first, but worried about conceding. He said no one is happy with how the team is conceding goals right now. Mentioned that it's a team game and they are not unhappy with any individuals. Berhalter said most of these goals are execution and communication issues.
  • Asked about this week and potential changes, both with match congestion and poor form, Berhalter said the staff will evaluate that today.
  • Berhalter said he believes it's good that it's a quick turnaround after the loss and a chance for the team to practice what they preach on Wednesday against the Chicago Fire. He called the Fire a good team and it will present a challenge.
  • The last meeting with Chicago ended with a last-second equalizer by the Fire. Berhalter said Jason Johnson scored late again last week against the Seattle Sounders, so Columbus should be aware of him.
  • Berhalter said it isn't that weird playing the same team twice in a week, but rather a challenge. He said it will be interesting to see how the teams respond from the first game. Called it similar to the MLS Playoffs.
  • It doesn't matter where a team is in the standings according to Berhalter. He said the Fire present a number of challenges despite being at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. He mentioned Mike Magee and Harry Shipp as some of the good players with Chicago.
  • Berhalter said Trapp came out of his 45 minutes just fine. He thought the midfielder looked good from a fitness standpoint. The head coach said the substitution was made partially due to Saeid's first half yellow card and the transition game.
  • Berhalter said Chris Klute did fine coming in unexpectedly for Hector Jimenez. Said Jimenez is doing good and was back in training after back spasms flared up during the match.