After the Columbus Crew SC training session went long for the second day in a row, the media entered the EAS Training Center as things wound down. Many of the players were on their way to the locker room, while some sat around on the field hanging out.
For a team coming off a 5-2 loss, the mood seemed serious, but fun. The sounds from training were intense, but once practice concluded, many of the players joked around as they stretched and cooled down from the heat.
Conversation with head coach Gregg Berhalter
- Berhatler said this week in training was about getting back to the basics of both defending and the attack. Called both aspects of the game disorganized in the Orlando City SC game on the weekend.
- The head coach said they are working on potential changes. He said he would expect some changes in the lineup (although some will be forced due to the suspension of Waylon Francis). He said it's a long season and you don't want to condemn a player for one poor performance.
- Berhalter called the Colorado Rapid a good team. He said the altitude will play some factor, but not as much as it's made out to be. Also said the Rapids, who have only conceded 22 goals on the season, are quite good defensively.
- Asked more about the altitude, Berhalter said with the advances in science and information on altitude, you can deal with it much easier and prepare for it.
- Berhalter said the way to break down a good defense like Colorado's is precision, something Crew SC has not been good at recently.
- On the acquisition of Jack McInerney, Berhalter said the forward gives them the ability to score goals. They have Kei Kamara, but this adds another proven goal scorer. Berhalter said Aaron Schoenfeld and Adam Bedell give the team a certain element, but McInerney gives them another element.
- Berhalter was asked if there is a possibility of seeing McInereny and Kamara on the field together and he said, "Who knows." He pointed out they've played with two strikers before.
- Berhalter said Crew SC isn't forced to make a quick move, but have to evaluate the roster and make an appropriate one due to the number of players they currently have.
- Asked about how this move will resonate in the locker room, Berhalter said he thinks it's a sign that they want to strengthen the squad. He said players are happy when quality is brought in and McInerney brings quality.
- Berhalter wouldn't comment on how the conversations began between the Montreal Impact and Columbus.
- Berhalter said the team is still looking at all the options and they could still make a move.
- Asked why Crew SC elected to bolster the second-best attack in Major League Soccer, Berhalter said they haven't felt there was enough diversity in the attack from a production standpoint. He pointed out they have only five guys who have scored goals this year and they want more.
- In comparing Kamara and McInerney, Berhalter said the new signing isn't quite as physical as the league's leading goal scorer. He said McInerney's game is more movement based and he does a good job of picking out runs.
- Berhalter said McInerney will get to Columbus tonight and train Thursday and Friday and be ready for Colorado.
- Per usual, Berhalter would not comment on players not on the roster.
- Berhalter said they have flexibility for potential more changes.