Federico Higuaín
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Post-match quotes: Crew at Houston Dynamo

Columbus Crew Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter

On the short turnaround between games

I think it’s difficult. I think it’s difficult for both teams. That’s part of professional soccer and you know we still expect to be prepared and be able to perform.

What did you hope your guys would do today to defend Will Bruin today and what was he able to do to get on the score sheet?

I think it was a good set piece. He did well. We know he’s dangerous in the air. We focused on that in these last couple days but you know, I think it’s a well-served ball, well-timed header and I think it ended up perfect.”

Thoughts on returning to Columbus for Sunday’s game

Obviously disappointed to lose two games and I think we need to look at our performance. I think its time to be a little bit critical of the performance and I think todays especially is a game where we should have gotten something out of the game and that’s what I’m disappointed about. I don’t want to take anything from Houston and their effort, but I think on this night we should have come away with something.

What are you asking the guys to improve upon?

I think it’s some decision making we have to question. It’s our spacing, and you know the finishing wasn’t there again tonight and that’s something we are disappointed with.

Any preparations for Houston tonight before and then any adjustments at halftime?

We knew that we had to keep getting the ball wide. We could get the ball in some dangerous positions if we did that. That was one of our focuses, on where our full backs are and how to get them to attack and people driving with the ball instead of passing it if they are thirty yards in front of them to bring an opponent to them, so we were focused on trying to open them up a little bit.

Columbus Crew defender Josh Williams

Thoughts on game

I thought this was a game we could have won. Obviously you know its tough to go into Houston to play. With the conditions and things like that, just playing Sunday, but you know at the end of the day we don’t want to make excuses, we’re not that type of team. I think [head coach Gregg Berhalter] had us prepared. He did everything he could. We just didn’t go out there and perform. We gave up a set piece goal that we talked about all week, we can’t do that. We got caught sleeping there. That’s something we need to work on. We need to be better on set pieces. We prepare all week for something like that and it’s disappointing to give up one like that.

It seemed like a tale of two halves. What was your feel on the flow of the game?

I thought we controlled possession the whole game. I didn’t feel like things changed necessarily. The goal obviously changed things but that’s something we need to work on. We can’t wait for them to punch us in the mouth first, we need to punch a team in the mouth first and score so they start pressing and then we open them up. We sat back and let them score first and that’s all they had to do was sit back and counter.

On Bruin’s goal

It was a pretty good ball in. I think it got right between two of our guys, I think it hit him in the back, it was an unlucky bounce on our part. I know Steve [Clark] couldn’t do anything. I looked it up, soon as it hit I saw the deflection and I knew it was trouble.

Columbus Crew forward Dominic Oduro

Thoughts on match

We did well. I thought we controlled the game, we just fell asleep a little bit on the set piece. That was one thing we knew was their strength. We just went off a little bit on that and that’s something we cannot afford to do anymore, but overall I thought we played well and controlled the game. Again we just got to be strong in the attacking half. We had chances we just couldn’t finish it. We believe in ourselves, we’re a strong team. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t come out with a point.

On Bruin’s goal

I want to say he got lucky a little bit. I don’t think he had such a great head on it, but again it is something we knew was their strength; we worked a little bit on that to avoid them. We even tried to get an opportunity on a set piece but like I said we just slipped a little bit over there. We’ve got to try as much as possible to close channels like that for any other team and again play our game. We have to be hungry in the attacking half. We did a little bit today but it wasn’t enough and we fell short.

What do you need to do to make sure the goals start coming?

We’ve got to be hungry, we’ve got to want it, we’ve got to need it. That’s something we have been working on. It’s a little bit hard when you have teams again sitting a little bit back just waiting to counter you, but its something we need to try and find a way to penetrate behind defenses. I think we can do it, I mean we hit the post today, there were some chances—the goalie made some great saves. We get in there we have some games to go and hopefully we get it right.

Houston Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear

Thoughts on the match

We worked super hard tonight, it was a tough one. We’re coming off a tough game with the travel and it was a hot, humid night so we put our subs in a little earlier than normal, but the guys put a great effort all around to get the goal and then to protect the lead. So I’m really happy for them, it’s good to see Will [Bruin] scoring goals and it’s good to get a goal off a set piece and it was good to defend the way we did. Columbus made it tough, they’re a good team that pass the ball around very well and they really challenge you but we were up for the challenge tonight so it was nice to see that.

On Will Bruin’s goal

They all go in different ways, I think he might have headed it off his shoulder a little bit but you can see the way he attacked the ball, he was the only one in that pile who was rising up attacking it well. I think by seeing the tempo in the first half you can tell that there weren’t going to be a ton of chances tonight, maybe off a mistake or off a set piece. We always tell the guys, it could come down to a free kick or a corner so let’s be clued in and I think Will was definitely hungry enough to be the one who scored.

On Tally Hall’s performance

He’s a good shot stopper—we all know that, we’ve seen it over the years. I think [goalkeepers coach Tim Hanley] does a good job with telling him to not beat himself and to remain big. He doesn’t overplay, he tries and lets the guy attacking goal beat him. Like I said he doesn’t make those mistakes and he makes himself look big and obviously he has some quick hands and he made some great saves tonight

What was Columbus doing to find the spaces in the first half?

Well they had good movement. Higuain is a good player, just because you identify it and say that this guy does this and does that it is still hard to stop. Good players find space and when he’s good on the ball and he has some decent players around him then it makes it difficult. They’re very calm at the back and they don’t make too many mistakes. I think if we had been a little bit sharper in some areas we could have punished them a little more than we did.

Houston Dynamo forward Giles Barnes

Thoughts on the match

It’s always good to get three points at home while we’re coming off a good victory as well. There is a lot of confidence around the squad at the moment and we have got to keep the train rolling and I think obviously when we got the goal up we protected the lead very well. Everyone is pulling for each other and we’re pulling the same direction.

Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall

Thoughts on Will Bruin’s goal

I think when you’re running forward and you have to put it back post, I think Will has been big for us this year with that, he’s off to a good start and obviously with a game winning goal. It’s three points in the books because he can finish like that. I think if you’re criticizing Will then I think you’re looking at the wrong things. What he does off the ball, the way he works, the way he battles, the way he fights are all things he does for this team and a box score or a stat sheet is never going to show that, and that’s why he’s been a key player for us because he’s had that mentality since day one. There’s a reason he’s always on the field, because the team needs what he can give them.

Is it satisfying to grind out this win?

Yeah, it’s definitely a different type of win and I think a game like today when everyone is exhausted and they all keep going, going and going and we’re rewarded with three points; so you can put this one in the memory banks.

They had more shots and more possession but you made the most with your chances, how does that compare with what the Dynamo have done to other teams?

Yeah, it’s kind of difficult because each game is so similar, so you look at the stats and you think that they are almost unfair to us. The way we played a smarter game but they had more possession, so you can look at the possession we had and I think we were more dangerous going forward like when Servando [Carrasco] would send a big ball to Kofi [Sarkodie] or Corey [Ashe] and those are guys are going at it. Those are dangerous times for us and I feel that even though they had more possession we were more dangerous with the chances we had.

Houston Dynamo forward Will Bruin

On the lead-up to the goal

Yeah that was funny. Right before he whipped the ball in, [Andrew] Driver said “Who’s your man?” and I said “Right here,” so Driver got the pick, pulled some bulk and set a pick and that freed me up so there was the goal. That’s three points that puts us tied at the top of the East and it’s time to shift our focus over to Salt Lake on Sunday and three more points would be even sweeter.

On Tally Hall’s performance

I thought he played great tonight, he commanded his box extremely well. He came out for crosses, gobbled up everything around and made some big saves. I thought he played great and the clean sheet is much deserved.

How big is it to have Brad Davis back?

Obviously when you have someone like Brad who can whip the ball in, I can just go straight into the box. I think we have a good understanding of each other of what runs I like to make and he can put it right on my head and/or my foot.

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