Monday morning, the Black & Gold were back out at the EAS Training Facility in Obetz, beginning this week's preparation for the Montreal Impact Saturday night.
When the media entered the compound, those who played major minutes on Saturday had completed their day's work. Kei Kamara, Ethan Finlay, Hector Jimenez, were Mohammed Saeid were a few players who sat on the sideline and gave "advice" to some of their reserve teammates, who played five v. five.
Before each game, head coach Gregg Berhalter announced the stipulation for that short-sided game, such as unlimited touches but one touch shooting, or two touches all around, etc.
When the session concluded, Berhalter addressed the gathered media.
Conversation with Berhalter
- Berhalter was asked to expand on his postgame comments that Saeid and Tony Tchani played really well against the Red Bulls. He said Saeid was more of the controlling player, while Tchani was in there to break up plays and be aggressive going forward. He said that gives them balance going forward. He said the two players had tremendous work rate and were vital in the middle.
- Berhalter said that was one of Tchani's better performances of the season, while he thought Saeid played well but had better games.
- The head coach said the approach in central midfield with Wil Trapp back in the mix will be the same as every other position. He said they need depth in the team and they need competition for places. Now the onus in on the players in that position to be responsible for their performances.
- Berhalter pointed to clubs that have aspirations to be at the top of the league and how they have quality depth across the roster.
- With Trapp out as long as he was, Berhalter said it changes the "players don't lose their spot to injury." He said Wil knows he has to get back to fitness and he has to perform to get back in the lineup. Berhalter did say Trapp is an important player for Crew SC.
- Asked about conceding the first goal but coming from behind (2-0-2 in the last four matches when conceding first), Berhalter said, "We have that figured out, that's for sure." He said he's not happy about giving up the first goal, but glad his team is responding well.
- The head coach said again that he doesn't think Finlay lacked confidence when he wasn't scoring. He touched on his production with assists and his constant work rate as evidence of that.
- Berhalter said Cedrick was on the field today for a bit. He said he was good and was eased in after the travel. They are going to progress him as the week goes on. Berhalter said "we'll see" when asked if fans may see him on Saturday. Said his fitness is good.
- Berhalter was asked if the comeback success, which was an issue early on, is a mentality thing. He said the experience could be a part of it, but they weren't tested much early in the year with big games at home and then conceding first on the road, sometimes after going down a man. He said he thinks the mentality has been there with the guys all year.
- The head coach said Montreal played a good game against the Black & Gold in the first meeting and countered the team well. He hopes that the Impact will play more at home, allowing for a more opening game.
- Berhalter said the initial plan with Saeid was the central midfield position or the No. 8 position. Berhalter did say that part of why he's here is because of his versatility. They always thought he could learn the No. 6 as well.
- Trapp has been playing the position longer so he has more of the experience, Berhalter said. Was quick to say that Saeid has done a good job in that role.
- Berhalter said Saeid has a lot of good qualities going forward, including a good shot, which is something Crew SC fans haven't seen much of in his current role.
- Berhalter said there could be Austin Aztex loans for guys on the horizon with no more Open Cup games.
- A member of Crew SC's college program, Michael Gamble, was at training today. Appears to be a forward out of Wake Forest who will begin his senior year in 2015.