After just two goals total scored in its first two preseason matches, Crew SC exploded to hit the back of the net seven times Wednesday afternoon against London United in the club's opening match of the IMG Academy Suncoast Pro Classic in Bradenton, Fla. Newcomers Hernan Grana and Kei Kamara each scored twice as Chris Klute, Ethan Finlay and unsigned SuperDraft pick Sagi Lev-Ari added three more.
"It’s never easy, playing against teams that you don’t really know anything about," Kamara said after the match. "For us, it was really just to continue to play the way coach wants us to play.
"It’s always nice to get a few goals in, so it definitely gets the fire blazing a little bit."
Added Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter: "The important thing is just getting the opportunity to finish the ball, put the ball into the back of the net. That was most important today."
The club continues to build its fitness as most players saw 45 minutes of action in the victory. With just 17 days until the Black & Gold's 2015 opener in Houston on March 7, Berhalter plans to continue increasing his players' minutes in Crew SC's remaining preseason matches.
The increased minutes will also help Berhalter and his staff determine a starting XI.
"We’re right in the middle of preseason right now, and it’s important to move the whole team along in the right way," he said. "I think we’ve been doing that so far. As this tournament goes on, we’ll start to increase some of the minutes. This is a good opportunity for the guys to show themselves."
Crew SC continues Group Play at the IMG Academy Suncoast Pro Classic on Saturday versus the Costa Rica Under-23 Men's National Team.