Columbus Crew SC has defeated yet another undefeated team this year. Last week was a 3-2 victory over the Portland Timbers, this week, a 2-0 win over Orlando City SC. Head coach Gregg Berhalter and select players from the home side spoke to the media after the match.
Columbus Crew SC vs Orlando City SC: Post Match Quotes
Head Coach and Sporting Director Gregg Berhalter
Extending lead in the second half: “I think the second goal was crucial. It put the game out of reach for Orlando. Give Orlando a lot of credit, they made it tough on us. It was challenging. I told the guys that this [win] will go a long way because it doesn’t always have to be pretty, but it’s the fact that mentally, you can grind through it and make some big plays at big times to get the win.”
On Alex Crognale replace Jonathan Mensah: “[Alex] his positioning was excellent. That’s what I’m happy about. I don’t think he was out of position once. When he’s in position, the ability to win the duels was crucial.”
Three game winning streak: “I think it says a lot. To me, the best thing about it is the performances. How different they all were. Last week we had to control the game offensively, this week we had to control the game defensively. They had more of the ball in the second half. It was our excellent shape and movement that prevented [quality chances].
Artur’s form: “Artur was good today — really good — and I think you guys will start to see the range of skills he has. He has a lot. He can win the ball back, he’s calm on the ball, good first touch; A lot of different skills that make him an exceptional player but today was a good example on what he can do.
Distractions: “It’s nice, but I know it’s not forever. I know next week we could be talking about anything. That’s our sport. The sport is crazy and it’s a lot of management and it’s a good period for us, now it’s time to work even harder and keep it going.”
Justin Meram performance: “I thought Justin was excellent, especially in the finishing area. He’s a handful; Very difficult to play against. He has a good pass, good shot, good dribbling, so it’s very difficult to defend. He’s fast, and today is an example of if you get him in space, and you get him iso 1v1, he’s dangerous.”
Defender Alex Crognale
Defender and homegrown signing Alex Crognale gave his thoughts on the win.
On his performance: “It’s great to have a coach that’s confident in you. To have him send me that message, let me know I’m ready, he’s confident. He said to be an animal and I thought I was able to come and do that today. We’re able to get a shutout and win the game.”
On his start: “Last week coming off the bench in the 70th minute or so; The other guys are tired but today you see a fresh striker, a fresh group of guys. So there’s a different [inaudible] you have to attack, and a different game you have to play.”
On how difficult Orlando City is: “They’re a great side. Their attack is potent. They had chances but we’re able to stay strong and get the shutout which is huge for us.
Team shape: “I think we executed our game plan very well, defensively. I thought we were great in the first half. We limited them to very little. In the second half, we weathered the storm. You go up at home or you go up anytime, really, the team is going to their chances so being able to weather the storm and take pressure.” The last part of Crognale’s statement is hard to decipher due to background noise.
Clean sheet streak: “I don’t know if I have an answer for that. As long as we can. As long as we keep playing well.”
Midfielder Justin Meram
Justin Meram was unanimously chosen as man of the match for this game after he recorded both of Crew SC’s goals to seal the victory.
Composure: “I think my first touch let me down a little bit and then I had to make something happen. I put it to my right. My first goal I went to my left. Just being unpredictable in those moments.”
On his red hot performances recently: “I’m staying grounded, staying humble, loving my teammates, playing for this club. I think that’s just kind of my mindset; Doing what I can to help succeed and I know I have qualities on the ball. I’m just gonna listen to the coaches and play my role and when I do that and stick to the gameplan, I’m pretty successful. When I sometimes complicate it and try to go on my own, you see it’s not as productive.
The Black and Gold travel to the Windy City to take on their bitter rivals, the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Meanwhile, the Lions will have yet another week off before hosting the Los Angeles Galaxy on April 15, 2017.