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Wednesday's Practice Pitch Updates: Philly, Playoffs, Gastón Sauro

After a day off to recharge, Crew SC were back at training early on Wednesday.

The debacle that was last weekend's 3-0 loss to FC Dallas is behind Columbus Crew SC. The Black & Gold trained Monday, had a day off on Tuesday, and were back at it on Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's clash with the Philadelphia Union.

When the media was allowed in to the EAS Training Center, Crew SC were still working on a full field 9 v. 9 (not including goalkeepers) scrimmage that were targeting some specific areas from Sunday's loss. The majority of the starters were on one team and they attempted to break down a compact defensive unit.

Once that finished, some of the offensive players worked with assistant coach Josh Wolff on attacking movements around defenders on low crosses.

Head coach Gregg Berhalter spoke with the media members in attendance.

Conversation with Berhalter

  • The head coach said he expects a similar game to last year's crazy win in Philadelphia on Saturday as it's a similar part of the year and both teams are fighting for the playoffs. He said the team doesn't take anything for granted and they'll keep fighting until the playoffs are clinched. He said it starts with a better performance than they had last weekend.
  • The head coach said there's a lot of belief in the group getting a win on the road. He said they expect the Union to have to play more and be aggressive, which could open them up.
  • Berhalter said it's nice to talk about playoff seeding, but it's just hypothetical. He said they are only focused on the next game.
  • The Union have a good team and Berhalter likes some of their players. He said for Crew SC it's can they continue to do what they do well. He pointed to good ball movement, movements behind their lines, and crossing the ball accurately in order to have success in Philly.
  • Crew SC is expecting Kei Kamara, Harrison Afful, Justin Meram, and Waylon Francis all to be available for Saturday. None of those players were there today due to travel with international duty.
  • Berhalter said center back Gastón Sauro is going through the concussion protocol after his head collision early on Sunday. He is not yet able to train and will mostly likely miss out Saturday.
  • The head coach said they are looking at tape from the game and breaking it down, trying to recreate what went wrong on Sunday. He called that frustrating and players are still tight on the field in those situations. He said the coaches are preparing the players to play against teams that sit back and counter.
  • Berhalter said the mood around camp is good. They aren't happy losing, but the atmosphere could be a lot worse. He said the team is taking the loss much better than other games for some reason.