Gregg Berhalter CLBvNYC 4-16-16

SPORTING DIRECTOR AND HEAD COACH GREGG BERHALTER

On the match being exactly what the club needed...
I think that we worked all week on how we’re going to play and getting the guys confident, and particularly in the first half with some really, really good soccer: dynamic, attacking, good possession, good movement. So, I think it was a great performance. Certainly getting some of these guys off the mark with goals is big.


On if he thinks that, following this performance, Crew SC’s spot in the standings doesn’t reflect how good it is...
It’s nice, but you don’t get any points for that. Again, I think there were times in this season where we’ve been a little unlucky, but we could’ve done better and I think we realize that and it’s playing our soccer, our brand of soccer and continuing to execute, that’s important. I think the guys really put in solid effort tonight but also the whole week of training.


On if tonight’s match is the epitome of what he wants to see from his club...
If you look at expected goals versus goals in reality, we were trailing. We knew that the movement was good and that we should be scoring more than we are. We have quality players and we’re creating quality chances and it’s a matter of time. I tell you guys all the time how small the margins in soccer are. Sometimes you’re on the right side of the post and sometimes you’re on the wrong side of the post. Today it was good to see. I like in particular the aggressive movement and some of the chances we created.


On how the first stretch of matches prepared the team for tonight’s match...
It didn’t. It hurt our confidence. We were shaken a little bit because of the results. It’s identical results to the four games last year, the first four away games, so it hurt our confidence. But, in the end it’s going to help us and it’s going to make us more confident because we played some good teams on the road, we had some good performances, and we know what it takes to win games.


On the theme of what he said at halftime...
I think the first thing was acknowledging how well I thought the boys played. There’s days when the performance is spot-on and today was certainly that, in particular in the first half. And there were a couple adjustments we made: transition moments on our corner kicks that they’re able to take advantage of, and some of the pressure that we’re doing. But overall I think that it was keep going, get the second, get the third, keep going, keep trying to score goals.


On if they were trying to exploit the right flank...
Both flanks. The first goal came from the left flank. We knew that if we get the ball through the middle and get the ball wide we’re going to create advantages. They have a very offensive-oriented team with their two wingers and their striker, so we wanted to make them work. And I think we did a good job of that.


On if he was in position to see the penalty...
You know, I’m not going to comment on a call.


On if he expects Michael Parkhurst to be in the lineup next week...
We’ll clear it up. Obviously he can’t give the wrong guy a red card and expect him to be suspended. So there’ll be some phone calls this week to the League and we’ll work through it. Things happen in games.


On how big Steve Clark’s save was at the end...
That’s vintage Steve Clark. He’s been known to do that over the course of his time here and that’s why he is who he is. That save gets you two points, for sure.


On why Kei Kamara was playing further up...
I think as we’re able to move through teams, the attack progresses rather quickly and he knows it’s coming up top. I think sometimes this year we’ve been too slow to play. I think back to the Chicago game and some other games. And there’s frustration and there’s guys wanting to get on the ball a little more. As we’re able to play through teams with our spacing, it gets him involved very quickly and we’re able to be dangerous.


On how relieved he was to see Kamara score...
It was a great goal, also. Fantastic finish. The goalie could do very little about it. And it is a good feeling. You want your striker scoring goals, that’s how strikers get confidence. I think it wasn’t only about the goal today. He worked extremely hard, especially in the end when we were down to 10 men. And I think he had a very good performance.


MIDFIELDER JUSTIN MERAM

On what he saw in the New York defense that allowed him to be so effective...
It’s tough for them when there’s so much focus on Higuain, how good he is. The movement he does creates space for me, so I thought he was exceptional tonight with his passing. He was able to find me a couple times tonight behind the defense.


On if he thinks he is able to exploit teams’ knowledge of his shot...
I can shoot with both feet and I can dribble either side, so I’m going to put the defender on his heels. They might know I want to go inside but tonight I decided to go down the endline and Ethan made a great finish.


On how he came into the match so mentally prepared...
It felt great to be at home. We love playing here and we had some tough games on the road, but we had a good week of training and we wanted to come out strong and get the first goal and we did. Even though they responded, we kept our heads in it and put away our chances tonight.


On what it feels like when opportunities are going in...
I said last week I’ve got to be better at finishing the cut-back ball, and I’ll tell you what, I was so happy when that went in. It’s a relief. I’m making the runs in there and Ethan’s doing a fantastic job to be aware to get that ball across. So, it was a great finish.


DEFENDER MICHAEL PARKHURST

On the referee’s comments on the red card...
He said it was a foul on me. There was nothing I could do.


On what he said to the referee..
I felt like he was just giving it to me because I was standing there. I wasn’t that upset, I talked to him, I was pretty calm about it and tried to tell him what had happened, but he thought otherwise.


On his team’s energy and preparedness...
We came out with a great mentality tonight, we really did. We got behind them, we put them in some tough spots, Kei [Kamara] almost nicked one off their goalie. We did a lot of good things tonight and the attack was really up for it.


On his team’s goals and chances at goal...
It’s a big boost. You always want to get those goals for the strikers. You want to get that first one off and hopefully they start snowballing. Even if one guy gets one, it gives the other guys confidence. Hopefully we can take it from here and get back to the level we were at last year in terms of scoring goals and picking up some victories. It’s definitely a good win and something that we hope to build off of.

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