Like most Tuesdays at the EAS Training Center, it was Tournament Day for Columbus Crew SC.
As the media entered the facility today, the tournament games were already underway.
The game was 6 v. 6 with goalkeepers on a small field and there were three teams. The team that was not playing worked on a crossing and finishing drill during the match on another field.
The teams were as follows:
Green: Aaron Schoenfeld, Michael Parkhurst, Tyson Wahl, Wil Trapp, and Kristinn Steindrosson
Gray: Kevan George, Justin Meram, Ethan Finlay, Kei Kamara, Tony Tchani, Harrison Afful
Orange: Chad Barson, Chris Klute, Mohammed Saeid, Ben Spes, Ben Swanson, Hector Jimenez
As usual, the games were intense with the Gray team ultimately winning by finishing with a 3-0 flourish in the final contest of the day.
During the matches, Emanuel Pogatetz rode the stationary bicycle before heading into the locker room early.
After the conclusion of training, head coach Gregg Berhalter spoke with all those gathered.
Conversation with Berhalter
- The head coach said the confidence is high with the team after the win on Saturday. He said after the 5-2 loss to Orlando City SC, the team was pretty down but recent results have brought the mood and confidence back up.
- Berhalter was asked about the expectations heading into the final eight games with only three at home and five on the road. He said he the team's form away from home has improved over the second half of the season and because of that, the team feels confident in getting results on the road and they have the opportunity to prove it.
- Berhalter said he's expecting Frank Lampard to play for New York City FC on Saturday. He said they have to watch out for him if he's out there because of his offensive ability.
- The head coach was asked if he was a baseball fan growing up and if he paid attention to the New York Yankees. "Yeah, I paid attention to them for not liking them." Berhalter said his cousin and Godfather played for the Boston Red Sox, so he was a fan of them. He has been to games at old Yankee Stadium.
- Berhalter was asked about again about the field dimensions at Yankee Stadium. "It will probably be the same dimensions for both teams," he joked.
- When asked if the preparation changes at all playing a team twice in 10 days, Berhalter said he expects to be familiar with NYCFC.
- Federico Higuain and Waylon Francis were limited in training, but Berhalter said it was just for rest.
- Berhalter was asked about forwards Kei Kamara and Jack McInerney on the field together, as they were for eight minutes on Saturday. He said he thinks it could be a very good combination. The head coach said the plan was to move Kamara to the left and keep McInerney in the middle because of the crossing coming from the right side.
- After speaking yesterday about players pushing for time, Berhalter was asked if the team must look for the right players so they don't have issues from guys that aren't playing. He said that is part of managing the team and letting everyone know their roles and expectations. He said it also has to do with the character of the players brought in and making sure they're in it for the team.
- Berhalter called Higuain excellent on Saturday. Said he showed he wanted to win the game and brought guys with him.