Any Crew player will tell you, the team's first half play against the Philadelphia Union in last week's 1-1 draw was not acceptable. The Black & Gold will look to amend that this weekend as they travel to Montreal to face the first-place Impact (FOX Sports Ohio/ 12:00 p.m. ET).
"We have to be sharper in the beginning, coming out of the locker room," winger Ben Speas said after Thursday's training session in Obetz. "Especially after last game, we can't start like that. I'm not sure what it was. We were playing well in practice and we felt good, but I don't know what it was. Whatever it was, we have to be better."
"The first half [against Philadelphia] was really flat," forward Dominic Oduro added. "You know it, we know it, the coaches know it, all the fans know it. It shouldn't happen anymore. We should play like we started the second half, with confidence. We had the urgency to try as much as possible to keep the ball to attack and have the confidence. We've realized that and know we're trying to keep to that level."
Just one of the Crew's eight tallies this season has come in the first 45 minutes through five games. With the third-highest goal total in the League so far in 2013, Head Coach Robert Warzycha doesn't care when the goals come each match.
"It doesn't matter if we score in the first half or in the second half, you can always find something that doesn't work right," the skipper explained.
"We've scored eight goals this season, the third most in the League. I have to be happy about that."
JUST ANOTHER MATCH
Despite Montreal sitting on top of the Eastern Conference after the first six weeks of the season, the Crew is treating Saturday's clash as it would any other.
"Every game is different, it doesn't matter if you're at the top or at the bottom," Oduro said. "On any given Saturday or gameday, the game is different. You can be at the bottom and win, or you can be at the top and play one of your worst games."
The forward continued: "[Montreal] is a good team at home, but it still doesn't matter. They could have a bad game. We just have to go there and not play like we played against Philly in the first half. We have to really compete and stay focused."
After playing its first two home matches of the season in front of capacity crowds at Olympic Stadium, the Crew will be the first team to take on the Impact at Stade Saputo in 2013. Temperatures in the 40s are expected, with a mix of rain and snow.
"We know they're a good team," Speas said. "They've gotten great results at home. We're going there like it's any other game and we're going to fight to work hard and bring home three points."