Riding a five match MLS unbeaten streak, the Crew will look to stay hot this week despite a three week break in league play.
To keep the players from being complacent during the break in the schedule, the Crew coaching staff pushed the squad in training and organized intrasquad drills to keep the players competitive. Rookie Ethan Finlay admits that despite not having a league match thus far in June, not much has changed in training.
"It's been really competitive. We've tried to make little tournaments to keep our competitive juices high. It's something that's been really fun for us," the winger explained. "Not much has changed, I think we're having fun. When you're winning, you're having fun. I think we're all clicking now and on the same page."
Facing a new opponent will be refreshing for some Crew players as the true competitive nature of some players has come out during training in the past three weeks.
"I think right now, we're really anxious to play. We've been beating up on each other the last three weeks," defender Josh Williams said Wednesday after training. "Before, it was just kind of showing up and wanting to play against each other. It's good to get back in the swing of things and start preparing (for New England). It's good to get back into a routine and have an opponent to scout."
Crew midfielder Chris Birchall used the break to get married in England. He returned to training Wednesday with his sights focused on the remaining two-thirds of the season for the Black & Gold.
"It's back to business now," Birchall said. "For me, this is my bread and butter, it's what I get paid to do. I'm glad to be back here and now concentrating until the end of the season."
Also making the trip across the Atlantic, Crew head coach Robert Warzycha is expected to return from Poland, where he traveled to experience his home country hosting the 2012 UEFA European Championships.
Warzycha will be back to run training in Obetz on Thursday and Friday before the team travels to New England on Friday afternoon.