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Wednesday's Practice Pitch Updates: Giovinco, Defensive Success, Winning the East

After a day off. the Back & Gold had a spirited training session Wednesday morning.

Columbus Crew SC returned to the EAS Training Center Wednesday morning after a Tuesday off, as the team continued preparation for Saturday's match with Toronto FC.

As the media entered, the entire team worked on one end of the field on a distribution and shooting drill. There were four lines with four or five players in each lined up across the width of the field in the attacking third. The coaching staff put the players through different situations.

Lots of shots were fired at goalkeepers Steve Clark and Brad Stuver in quick succession and both did well.

After the official part of training concluded, many of the players remained on the field, passing with each other or playing small games.

Head coach Gregg Berhalter spoke with the media once he was finishing working with his players.

Conversation with Berhalter

  • Berhalter said TFC has some big-name players including what he called probably the best player in the league, Sebastian Giovinco.
  • Of the top two attacking options for Toronto, Berhalter said Jozy Altidore is power, strength, and good finishing while Gionvinco is quickness, speed, and great passing with good finishing. Called them almost polar opposites.
  • Berhalter said the team executed at times over the last two wins, particularly the first game in Chicago, and they want to continue to build on that.
  • Berhalter was asked if the Trillium Cup has added anything to the rivalry and took a round-about answer. He said TFC has similar aspirations to Crew SC (both want to win the Eastern Conference) and that makes these games tough and more intense.
  • The Richmond Kickers approached the Black & Gold about loaning Adam Bedell (the move was announced on Wednesday). Crew SC's affiliate, the Austin Aztex, have a player in his position so this will be a good opportunity for Bedell to play.
  • Asked about the other players on loan, Romain Gall with Austin and Matt Lampson with the Charlotte Independence, Berhalter said the team has received a lot of positive feedback. He said Gall will likely push for more playing time.
  • Berhalter said the team wants to win some games and put themselves in position to get to the top of the East. He called D.C. United a good target.
  • The head coach said the defensive success is a team effort and credited the pressure up top, making it difficult for the Chicago Fire to get much started. He also said the defense made some big plays, pointing to Clark's save on Patrick Nyarko.
  • Berhalter was asked about the defense holding a meeting and said it was good the group held themselves accountable.
  • Berhalter said Kei Kamara was the best in the league offensively in the air. Also called him one of the best pound-for-pound athletes in the league.