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Monday's Practice Pitch Updates: Scrimmage, Cedrick, College Program

It wasn't a typical Monday session for Crew SC...

Columbus Crew SC normally return to practice after Saturday games and any sort of scrimmages are done on Sunday. But with the Crew SC Foundation FootGolf Classic on Sunday, the scrimmage with Crew SC's college program was held this morning.

The media entered the match just before halftime. At that point, the lineup looked like this:
Brad Stuver
Hector Jimenez-Sergio Campbell-Emanuel Pogatetz-Chris Klute
Cedrick Mabwati Kevan George-Mohammed Saied-Kristinn Steindrosson
Ben Speas
Aaron Schoenfeld

In the 10 minutes or so before halftime, the Black & Gold created a couple of chances but failed to score.

After the break, Kalen Ryden replaced Jimenez and Klute switched to the right side of the back line.

The second half saw chances both ways, but it was the professional team that took advantage.

Both goals in the second half came courtesy of Schoenfeld. The first was on a cross from Cedrick that the striker headed through the keeper's legs after nice buildup play on the right side of the field. The second came again from the right, but this time was a one-time finish on a Klute cross.


  • Head coach Gregg Berhalter said the match finished 4 or 5-0 ("I wasn't really keeping score") so the first half must have featured a few goals.
  • Cedrick looked dangerous at times getting down the right wing. It's clear that he's still getting used to both his teammates and the new system (he received instructions from the sideline throughout).
  • Speas really knows how to control things in the midfield. He's comfortable moving around the field like Federico Higuain and serves a very nice ball on set pieces. It's unfortunate fans don't get to see him more because he's stuck behind a player of Higuain's caliber.
  • Saied is loud and feisty on the field when you can hear him. He is constantly talking to his teammates, giving them instructions and constructively letting them know when they did something wrong. You can see some of that in the matches - pointing and such - but it was more evident with no crowd to drown him out.
  • While Campbell still has a lot to learn to be a solid MLS defender (positioning, body control against professional players, where to be on the field in certain instances), his defensive skills are there. He made several nice tackles and was physical, but fair, with the college forwards.
  • Stuver continues to impress as the backup to Steve Clark. After solid performances in Open Cup play and the international friendly, he looked good again. He's not as talented with his feet as Clark, but that's something many goalkeepers don't work on much before they reach the professional ranks.

Conversation with Berhalter

  • Berhalter was asked what he can take away from the three matches already played against Orlando City SC, this weekend's opponent, and said they know a lot about them. He mentioned Kaka and Cyle Larin as dangerous players.
  • The head coach said the team knows Orlando is going to come out and play, which is what Columbus enjoys in a soccer match.
  • Berhalter said the physical play from the first meetings won't necessarily carry over into this match. He called those isolated incidents.
  • With Crew SC ahead of OCSC in the standings, Berhalter was asked what three points would mean to help pull away from the Lions in the standings. He said the focus isn't on separating from Orlando but the whole Eastern Conference. "Any time you play an Eastern Conference team, you want to get maximum points."
  • Berhalter said it's good the weather is so humid and hot in Columbus this week because it will help the team prepare for what they will likely see on Saturday night in Orlando. He said there's not much you can do to prepare for the humidity, heat, and turf.
  • On the college program, Berhalter called it important. He said assistant coach Pat Onstad and head Academy coach Ryan Martin have done a great job with the players who have been in camp recently.
  • He said these games are important to help keep the rest of the team fit. He called it a good exercise and helped to evaluate some players now.
  • Berhalter said the players come from an area of around 300 miles from Columbus and they identify them either through their program or occasionally from outside of it. The idea is to teach them the Crew SC playing model. He called it a successful program.
  • He said it is good to see the progress of the college players. The team trained with the players the first week they were in Columbus and Berhalter believes they've made a ton of progress since.
  • Berhalter also said this was a good environment for Cedrick to play with his teammates and his teammates to play with him. Said he had some real dynamic movements in the first half.