Post-match quotes: Crew vs. Montreal Impact

Gregg Berhalter

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USA Today Sports Images

COLUMBUS CREW SPORTING DIRECTOR AND HEAD COACH GREGG BERHALTER

On falling behind 1-0 and being able to come back:

I actually think we started the game out really well. We looked lively and we were putting them under pressure, and I think when they scored it took a little out of us. It hurt us a bit. At halftime, the message is, “Guys, we’re doing well. Keep that, a little bit more urgency, but keep doing what we’re doing. Don’t lose focus of what we’re doing.” And then we got the first goal and I felt like we were going to get back in it. Steve [Clark] came up with some big saves to preserve the tie right there, and then Bernie [Bernardo Anor] hits a fantastic strike. I think it was the attitude. They were ready to win a game today.

On Steve Clark’s saves during a 6-7 minute stretch in the second half:

It was big. Bernie [Bernardo Anor] scored two fantastic goals, but Steve [Clark] was our man of the match. He came up big. He’s been doing that all year. We ask him to do that. We try to get our fullbacks forward, we try to play attacking soccer, and you’re going to leave yourself vulnerable at times, you’re going to give up chances at times. Overall, I was happy with the team’s performance and Steve Clark’s performance was exceptional.

On whether these three points were more important than others:

The guys need it. They needed a win for their confidence. Guys were down on themselves, down on their performance and they needed that to validate it. So it is big, but you’re not going to get me to say that it was bigger than other ones, because it’s not. We move forward and we focus on next week.

On the change in the mood of the team after the win:

The guys are extremely happy. The pressure thing is interesting, because we want them to play soccer, we want them to move the ball around, and we have to come to terms with that. I think that when you don’t get results you still have to keep doing it and plugging away, and we’ll do that. We have to get to a point where we can perform no matter what the circumstances are, so today was a good win because of that.

On what the team did differently to close the match:

I think it was desire. You always have the desire, but today it seemed like we’re winning that first header, we’re getting that first header out a little bit further than normal. You can see guys were giving everything to get those three points. I’m proud of that effort. It was a good effort. It’s a good learning experience for the group to be able to go through something like that and pull it out. The next step of that is, can we get a counterattack and score the third goal? Can we be dangerous after we’re taking pressure and still have the energy to get out and hurt the other team with some counter chances?

On Bernardo Anor being a ‘spark’ for the team:

We don’t want him to be like that. Honestly. We have conversations with Bernie [Bernardo Anor] because we think he is a fabulous player and we see so much potential in him and so much ability in him. The message to Bernie [Anor] is, “Bernie [Anor], you could be doing this type of stuff every week.” Week in and week out, he has virtually all of the tools to be a top level soccer player. I don’t want him to be the streaky Bernardo Anor, I want him to be the consistent and the threatening Bernardo Anor on a consistent basis. It takes work. It’s working with him all the time on the field, off the field, and getting him to believe that he has that quality.

COLUMBUS CREW MIDFIELDER BERNARDO ANOR

On his goals during the game:

I felt great. I think finally getting back on track is very important. We have been looking for it for quite a long time now. And we have deserved this result since a couple games ago. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to get it, but tonight in front of a great crowd we have.  There are still plenty of things we can work on but overall I am very happy about tonight’s performance.

On possible lack of confidence in the past:

I’m not sure if I was lacking confidence but the attitude, after it is hard to pick up your head when you are going through such a rough path. I think we came out tonight having nothing to lose and we all pulled the effort right there so I am very happy for that.

On which goal was more exciting for him:

Both of them were exciting. Seriously, have both shots on the goals is something very nice and I appreciate a lot. I was glad that I was able to pull it off.

On if the pressure decreases after getting the first goal:

No, the more we try the more chances we are going to create.  I think we have to keep shooting at the goal too. The more we do the more can space we open and we can play which allows us to create different scenarios. 

COLUMBUS CREW DEFENDER CHAD BARSON

On tonight’s game:

Bernardo’s goals tonight came from distance and taking opportunities. You’re not always going to be able to just walk to the ball into the back of the net. When someone starts taking shots from far out, and they are quality shots, that opens up the defense and they have to step out which opens things up behind.  Credit to Bernardo: two incredible goals and to the rest of the team for all their effort. 

On Barson’s possible goal tonight:

There have been two opportunities in the last two games. Guess I need to do a little more finishing practice. I just got a little too big, that isn't going to help me. We were given a lot of chances tonight. I felt like we were a team and I am very proud of our team with the win tonight.

On Steve Clark’s saves:

He was huge tonight. Without him we probably wouldn't have won the game. He made some huge saves which keeps us in the game. You need to score goals but you also can’t give up goals either. Steve was on his game and he does that often.  He stands on his head for us and it really helps us out.

On his charitable boot drive:

Obviously, I grew up in Columbus and love this town. It was just an opportunity where I talked to some of the PR people within the Crew organization and wanted to give back to the youth in the community who are can’t go out and buy brand new shoes. From what I hear, it was very successful tonight.  A lot of the people I talked to after the games said they brought stuff in and the guys on the team talked about bringing stuff in at training. Hopefully, it was a good turnout of gear that was given back to the community and we will be able to do good things with it.

MONTREAL IMPACT HEAD COACH FRANK KLOPAS

On the chances both teams had tonight:

Both teams had their chances. We had some clear looks at 1-0 to make it 2-0. Anor stepped up and hit two great shots. Evan played a very good game.  I think we lost the game in the middle tonight. We didn’t win enough 50/50 balls. I think that was the key. We had some our chances on the road and when you are up 1-0. Anor scored on two great shots that went in. We could have stepped up a little quicker. We didn’t. It’s disappointing I just really don’t know what to say. It seems like we can’t get one break right now. We just have to keep working.

On the decision to start Evan Bush over Troy Perkins in goal:

I think that we have two very good goalkeepers. Going into the season, I said that he [Bush] is going to play in the Canadian Cup. There are moments in the season where one guy is not in the best form and the other guy is and you have to rework. Even though it’s a little more difficult to do so because, the keepers need rhythm with the amount of games coming up. Take nothing away from Troy. I think he is a very good and experienced goalkeeper. Evan has been looking sharp and I think it was his moment to play tonight. I think he played very well tonight regardless of the two goals. I don’t think a keeper on the second shot would have saved that one. We could have done a better job stepping up and denying the shots.

On moving forward after losing a game like this:

What can you do? It’s difficult, because you are always looking forward to the next game. It’s games like this that you have to try and get something out of it. We have to look at everything. At the end of the day, I’m the coach and it’s my responsibility. We all have to look at ourselves. When things don’t go well, we have to make hard decisions and make changes.

On the goalkeeping performances:

The keeper (Clark) made some excellent saves. The keepers on both sides did great. The ones they needed to make, they made them. It is unfortunate Anor’s shots were a little bit closer to the corner than ours. I thought this was a good opportunity for us coming in. You catch a team sometimes at the right moment when they are playing a lot of games. We are going to face that now, another opportunity lost. It’s disappointing for sure.

MONTREAL IMPACT DEFENDER HEATH PEARCE

On loss:

I’m at a loss for words; this is the first time this season I can say I’m at a loss for words.

On poor form:

We have to find a way to keep going. There’s more games and whether it’s going our way or not we have to keep going. It feels like since the very first game of the season we’ve been swimming against the current. We just have to keep going.

On room for improvement:

I haven’t had a chance to take a look at the game and really break down where we go wrong or how we go wrong. I just know it’s a really tough time.
 

MONTREAL IMPACT MIDFIELDER PATRICE BERNIER

On not winning road matches:

You’ve seen our season. You’ve seen the last few games. There were some clear-cut chances to take the game, two great shots on the other team, the goalie made some great saves. It’s crushing. It’s one of those seasons.

On upcoming matches:

We have to get results. There is a short window left for us to believe that something can be done. With that, you start thinking of next year. There’s a short window of games. The good fortune is that we have a few games this week, but we have to get results.