Gonzalez impresses in preseason debut
The Crew earned its third win in as many preseason matches as it toppled the Philadelphia Union 1-0 on Saturday afternoon at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando.
Bolstered by the addition of Costa Rican International Giancarlo Gonzalez, the Black & Gold continued their stellar play this preseason, having allowed just one goal in three matches: an own goal deflected off the leg of Tyson Wahl in Wednesday's 3-1 win against Toronto FC.
"We still have a ways to go, but we've got good players," goalkeeper Steve Clark said. "We can play with anybody. These guys hadn't played together, [Michael Parkhurst and Gonzalez], so they just played off each other. We’ll get better.
"But obviously with the statistics, we're doing okay."
Despite only one training session with the Black & Gold -- Friday afternoon in Orlando prior to Saturday's contest -- Gonzalez managed to stand-out with his play in central defense in the victory. Though Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter gave the Costa Rican the option of playing Saturday's match, the recent acquisition was eager to take the field with his new teammates after joining the club from Vålerenga in Norway.
"He was good," Berhalter said of Gonzalez. "This guy traveled halfway around the world on Tuesday and finally got cleared to play yesterday.
"He's been through a lot and his play shows a lot about him."
While he's happy with his team's results so far this preseason, Berhalter noted that there was progress to be made in the coming weeks.
"We have a long way to go in terms of how we want to play and how we want to fine-tune things, but it's a good start," he commented.
The Crew kicks off its19th season in MLS on March 8 at D.C. United.