Steve Clark
USA Today Sports Images

Berhalter not ready to name starting goalkeeper ahead of opener

Just days before the Columbus Crew's MLS opener against D.C. United, the two goalkeepers competing for the starting spot still don't know which of them will be given the reins at the start of the season.

Homegrown Ohio State product Matt Lampson and newly acquired veteran Steve Clark have battled throughout the preseason, both earning plenty of playing time in the club's Bradenton and Orlando trips. Both say they're preparing as if they were the starter, despite not being told by Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter what their role will be.

"I haven't really given it much thought," Clark told after training on Wednesday. "I think I've done my job well, and I think you just kind of rest in what you can do. When you start wondering what someone's thinking, I think you get away from what my job is."

Lampson, like most 'keepers, says that in order to be effective, he has to consider himself a starter.

"My gut tells me that I hope I've done enough to prove I'm a starter," he said. "But it's up to Coach Berhalter to decide."

Berhalter declined to say whether he knows who his 'keeper will be, and would only note that the decision will be known by the players soon.

"We're going to communicate that during the week to the players, and we'll let them know at the appropriate time," he said.

But Clark didn't seem concerned about when the 'keepers would know who would be between the pipes Saturday.

"I don't really have any desire to be told any time soon," he said. "I'm just going to continue playing. I'm sure they'll get us out there before the whistle."

Download the FREE MLS App

Follow Crew SC's scores, updates, highlights, analysis and more.