After a result like the Crew had on Saturday night against the LA Galaxy, the club's spirits are naturally high, even as a new week of training begins. While the mood around the club is definitely up, at the same time, players and coaches alike know that remaining even-keel is a must as preparation for Houston commences.
"I think that it would be foolish to say that positive results don't affect the group. Of course they do," admitted Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. "Same way that negative results do, but you try to remain level through it all. It's all about perception. We're trying to control that, stay grounded and be happy at the result, but still push forward ... The levels that the guys performed to, they need to maintain that. It needs to stay consistent."
The club has to deal with the difficult problem of balancing the tremendous result against LA and remembering what it did right, but also keeping focus and moving on to the next match.
"Obviously we've moved on and we're looking to Houston, but there was some momentum gained and some confidence built," said defender Eric Gehrig. "Some great goals were scored, good performances by everyone. It's important to remember those things, be proud of that and know that's what we are capable of. That reflects in the locker room and it reflects on the field."
Berhalter added that the aftermath of a performance like Saturday's is a good time to teach and look back at what could be corrected to make the club even stronger.
"It's easier to make improvements when you're winning, because guys take information in easier. Now is a good time to do it because they're happy about the win. Everyone takes it in a lot easier."
That's the task at hand for the Crew early this week: keep confidence high, but identify any and all possible areas of improvement to consistently maintain the high levels that Berhalter stressed.
"Every game, there are always things that you learn, things you can do better and things that worked," said Gehrig. "Saturday, even though we won 4-1, there are always improvements to be made. At the same time, there are things that were shown that when we play the way we play -- moving side to side, quick runs, one-two touch -- that's the stuff that makes us successful, so it's important to remember that going into Houston."