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Tuesday's Practice Pitch Updates: Missing Players, Bench Support, Dallas

It's not the full team, but Crew SC are motoring on without several key players.

With eight, make it nine international call-ups this week, Columbus Crew SC's practice was a bit depleted on Tuesday morning. Federico Higuain was also limited, resting his injured hamstring.

This doesn't leave head coach Gregg Berhalter with many options moving forward this week, but it does allow him to work closer with some of his players.

As the media entered the EAS Training Center, the Black & Gold began a crossing and finishing drill. The players were in four lines, each of which had a different responsibility, including shooting, make near and back post runs, and a shot from the top of the 18-yard box.

After about 15 minutes, the coaches ended training, telling the players to get out of the heat.

Conversation with Berhalter

  • The head coach said this weekend's win was important but no more so than any other win of the season. He said you don't want to get in the habit of looking at what other teams do. You control what you can by winning games.
  • Asked about the recent road success, Berhalter said the only difference is the results. He said some games didn't go their way and they received red cards or put themselves in situations like that. He said they are now putting together 90 minute performances and not have lapses in games.
  • There were two Academy players in training today that Berhalter said were there to help fill out the practice. He said it's business as usual this week despite the missing players.
  • Berhalter said players know they have a role to play and the guys have been doing that. He said the results speak for themselves over recent week. Emphasized thinking of the team as a group and not just different parts.
  • Justin Meram is someone Berhalter is confident either starting or coming off the bench. Berhalter said Cedrick Mabwati put himself in a position to start the game with the impact he's made off the bench. Berhalter said Meram made another immediate impact off the bench.
  • The head coach said there's no change of plans this week with the missing players. He said they've worked to develop an entire group and this shows it.
  • Berhalter said you try and project the call-ups of players but it's hard to do so. He said sometimes coaches wait until late to call players in so they can't really plan.
  • Asked if he considers having players not go to national team camps, Berhalter said they are a players-first club and they want to put their players in the best possible position.
  • Berhalter admitted that the team will feel the impact of the losses as a team on Sunday, but preached that the remaining players have worked hard and it's a chance for new guys to step in.
  • Asked if he thought about calling back Romain Gall from the Austin Aztex, Berhalter said he thought about it but he didn't want to disrupt his game rhythm on loan.
  • The head coach said they did not have to allow Waylon Francis, who was called up late, to go join the Costa Rican team. He said it is a new coach and they have two good games against Brazil and Uruguay, plus Francis deserved this opportunity.
  • Kevan George's Trinidad and Tobago side plays Friday in Utah. Berhalter said it was possible he could be back and available for Sunday's game with FC Dallas.
  • Berhalter said Higuain is doing well and today was a precautionary day. He'll be back in full training tomorrow.
  • The head coach said Gastón Sauro is looking good. Berhalter said he's getting close and a decision on his debut will be made based on his week of training.
  • Per usual, Berhalter called this week's opponent a good team. He said they have some quality and play good football. He said he's excited for the game.
  • The head coach said it was amazing to see the fans that travelled for the game last weekend. "When you look up and see a block of yellow, that's unmistakable. That's fantastic." Said it made a good atmosphere and thanked the fans for coming out.