Post-match quotes: Crew vs. LA Galaxy

Gregg Berhalter

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports Images

COLUMBUS CREW SPORTING DIRECTOR AND HEAD COACH GREGG BERHALTER

On team performance:

I think guys realize that it is time to perform. The Galaxy is a team that it is easy to get up before because of the quality they have. They guys were hungry today. Going through it quickly, I don’t think there were any guys that had subpar performances tonight and that is including the substitutes.

On defining attractive soccer:

I think when you look at the first half and our ball movement we weren’t scared to play. We were daring to play against a team like the Galaxy it shows a lot about what we have been working on and that the guys believe in it and they want to go out there and execute it. I was really proud of that.

On what he is looking for from this team:

It was what we are looking for each week. We want to have a hot ticket that they fans want to come to and that they are proud of the team from Columbus and that they are proud of their team. We are working hard for that I think it starts with the type of soccer we play. I talk to a lot of fans and they are enthusiastic about it. They say that it is identifiable and they are pleased with that.

On Steve Clark’s performance:

He did well; he’s done that all year. Their keeper came up with some big saves. The post helped them a couple times; they made some clears clear off the line. It was a back and forth game but it was the type of soccer game I bet the fans appreciated. It is when you have two teams just going after it and just trying to play. There were 11 fouls called the whole game. It wasn’t an aggressive game that we were just trying to foul each other and stop time. Both teams wanted to play and you have to credit the guys on the field for that.

On extreme changes in performances each week:

I think it’s patience. If you look at our roster we have the youngest roster in the League. The guys are getting used to it. They guys are trying to find their way. They are learning how to get consistency. That is the hardest thing in professional sports is to be consistently good. We are working on that. I think part of that is to get the guys to believe in themselves week in and week out. 

On what this win means:

I think it is good for the confidence of the group but I would have much rather had that win against a team in the Eastern Conference. That’s where you really created separation in the standings. It’s big but we have to stay grounded. We have 10 games left and it is almost like every game is a playoff game. It’s a lot of Eastern Conference teams and the table is tight. It is going to be interesting. I think this game is a great opening game for the next 10 games.

COLUMBUS CREW MIDFIELDER JUSTIN MERAM

On his over performance tonight:

Assistant Coach Josh Wolff told me last game subbing on that I have to have the will to score and do something. He told me why don’t you start like that every game. Start with everything that you got. So I took that approach today.

On what it felt like tonight considering everything that took place:

It felt good. If Tony Tchani does not win that ball by shielding off two guys before giving it to me. There is credit to everybody. I just ended up having it at the last moment, and finishing my chance.

On his spin-move that lead to his 23rd minute goal:

It is a thing I have adapted. You have seen over and over in games that I do it a lot. I picked it up as a way for me to free myself to get that shot off that I love. I have had four goals this year of that nature.

COLUMBUS CREW WINGER ETHAN FINLAY

On the team’s overall performance

I think it was a great result for us. I think it is a game that we can look back come November and say that it was a turning point for us. That is a really good team over there with a championship pedigree, and we took it to them for ninety minutes tonight.

On the teams individual performances

I think it was eleven guys, even beyond, fourteen guys, that had really solid games for us. I thought Waylon Francis was great. Wil [Trapp] and Tony [Trapp] covered so much ground tonight. Absolutely fantastic stuff from them. Four different goal scorers tonight. You could not ask for much more. It was a tremendous performance from everyone all around.

On using this performance as an expectation moving forward

I think what you saw here was execution for a full ninety minutes. That is a really good team, but we said we are going to play our game, our style, and we did that. It is a fantastic result for us.

LA GALAXY GENERAL MANAGER AND HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA

On Gregg Berhalter:

He did a great job. He has a great future in the coaching profession.

On the Crew honoring Landon:

I think it is very nice. Landon has had a great career and to be recognized in these markets we go into. It is tremendous. Hopefully, the results don’t all end up like they did tonight, but It was a tremendous gesture on behalf of the Crew. We are very grateful for that.

On if the pregame ceremony was a distraction:

It’s going to be happening every time. It certainly looked distracting tonight. I would blame the entire game on the pregame ceremony. (Chuckling)

On Clark’s performance:

He played well and made some big saves. Our finishing was pretty poor and I remember two or three good saves on Robbie. On the night, we were pretty poor on finishing. To his credit, the goal he conceded was a very good finish. He was pretty solid. It was a good game.

On if he was surprised by the Crew’s performance:

I think they are better commenting on it than I am. They probably played their best game of the year. They played very well. You have to give them a lot credit.  We knew it would be a good game. I kind of liked the game that I saw. I thought it was a game that was perfectly suited for our team, but we came up short.

LA GALAXY FORWARD GYASI ZARDES

On loss:

You can tell, in the first half, they jumped on us. They had a game plan and stuck to it. There were various times in the game when we had opportunities. The only difference is they put away their opportunities as opposed to us.

On recent good form:

It’s my teammates, definitely. It’s not just me. It’s the whole combination of play and when we combine I just make that hard run into the box and my teammates just put it right there on my foot and I just put it on frame..

On preparing for the next match:

Yeah I think we are definitely forgetting about this game and just working hard to prepare for Wednesday.

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER ROBBIE ROGERS

On injury:

In the second half I couldn’t play anymore. I couldn’t move. It’s kind of why I was just sitting back. I had to go out. I tried to play through that injury. It was affecting too much of the way I was playing. I couldn’t cover ground so I had to take myself out, unfortunately.

On what went wrong:

It’s four to one. I don’t think we matched their intensity. I don’t think we stepped to press the ball. I don’t think we finished our chances when we created them. Overall, it’s a really disappointing night. Obviously, you want to beat your friends.