The wait is nearly over.
Hope springs eternal as Crew SC prepares for its 2015 season-opening match at Houston on Saturday with high expectations going into Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter's second season at the helm of the club. Berhalter shared his anticipation for the season to begin with reporters at SuperKick in Lewis Center on Wednesday afternoon.
"There are a lot of possibilities, and a lot of unknowns," Berhalter said of the season's start. "You learn a lot about your group pretty quickly. I think it’ll be a good time period, these first couple of weeks of the season."
After a nearly two-month preseason spent with a trip to Texas and two trips to Florida, Berhalter's side is ready to compete in a meaningful match with points on the line.
"We’ve been building for it this whole preseason," Vice-Captain Wil Trapp explained. "Anytime you’re playing real games for something that’s more than just a tune-up match for the preseason, you get excited. We’re pumped, ready to go. I can’t wait to play."
Added winger Kristinn Steindorsson: "We played in some preseason tournaments, but it’s not the same. We want to get in those competitive games, and the games that matter. We play for three points, and of course, that’s what we’ve been waiting for the whole preseason."
For some players, the 2015 regular-season kickoff signals a return to routine. After spending just five days during preseason at home in Columbus, goalkeeper Steve Clark admitted he's ready for a return to normalcy in prepping for weekly matches.
"There’s just a different rhythm to games," the 'keeper said. "We’re just looking forward to the real thing. It’s hard to put into words what it’s like to play in a friendly, and then a real game that means something for points. I can’t wait."
Crew SC kicks-off its 20th season on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET (Time Warner Cable SportsChannel / CD102.5 FM) versus the Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.