Steve Clark CLBvCOL 5-14-16
Trevor Ruszkowski / USA Today Sports Images

Post-match quotes: Crew SC vs. Colorado Rapids

SPORTING DIRECTOR AND HEAD COACH GREGG BERHALTER

On tonight’s result…
I thought it was pretty good. I mean these guys had a tough week. You can see it, you can see we were tight, it wasn’t us. The second thing that I will say is give Colorado a ton of credit. This is their third game in a week. The energy, the power that they had, the aggression I thought was excellent. Pablo [Mastroeni] is doing a fantastic job with this group, just to see that. They came here and they competed, they didn’t give up at all. Give them a lot of credit. They made it extremely difficult for us. They broke our rhythm time and time again. Any time we got a rhythm they would press or they would foul. They broke it up really well. Give them credit.

On his different offensive approach to this game…
I’m not sure it was much different. Because of the personnel, Cedrick [Mabwati] stayed wide, we looked for him to get into one v. one situations. That’s how we got the goal, we did a good job. Justin was tucking in from the right side, and it was a little uncomfortable for him. You see that’s Pipa’s (Federico Higuain) normal space to operate in and you can see that the spacing wasn’t great. We tried to address that at halftime and I thought it got a little bit better in the second half. Overall I give the guys a ton of credit because it wasn’t an easy week and the guys hung in there.

On Tyson Wahl’s exclusion from the lineup…
Tyson [Wahl] has been out of training since the game against Veracruz. He reported a headache and a little bit of dizziness and we just wanted to take precaution and held him completely out of the 18.

On Michael Parkhurst’s injury…
This is your captain, he knows we don’t have a centerback on the bench, and he couldn’t lift his arm. I think his shoulder came out of the socket and he hung in there. He got it taped up and he played for the remainder of the game not being able to lift his left arm. That’s leading by example. Like I said, it was a difficult game by nature, due to the entire week and due to the opponent who is Supporters’ Shield candidates right now. I think the guys did a good job.

On adjusting to the new changes in personnel…
We’ll get there. I think Ola’s [Kamara] movement is exceptional, very good movement off the ball, and it’s up to us to start finding crosses in the run of play because he will stretch the defense, he will get behind. But again, today we played against an opponent that was very, very aggressive; they pressed us very hard up the field. A lot of one v. one situations, and [they] made it very difficult for us.

On if it’s tough to swallow two wins in 10 games even after a tough week…
Not at all. Honestly. Not at all. Again, I don’t group games; I look at the total package. And the last five games, we’ve lost one of them, to Seattle, away from home, when we had chances to win that game. Of course we’re disappointed with a draw at home but I take all things into consideration. I don’t want to make excuses for these guys at all, let’s get that straight. But like I said, we’re going to keep getting better.

On if he was tactical with Cedrick Mabwati and Ethan Finlay’s minutes…
No, Cedrick hadn’t had much game time yet, so we knew he wouldn’t be able to go 90. I think he gave us a tremendous boost early on. I think he’s been coming on in training, looking very sharp in training. He deserved an opportunity. But we knew he wasn’t going to be able to go the whole game. Ethan [Finlay], I think can be an extremely dangerous player coming off the bench as well. And it was good to have that on our bench.

On possession in the first half...
They brought six guys back in build-up and left four guys high. So then you have a decision: you can either commit your numbers forward to be able to press them or you can sit back in an organized defense and let them pass the ball in their own half. And we chose the latter. We were comfortable with them being able to move the ball around. We were going to press them sporadically and try to win the ball on the sides of the field. I think a lot of times they’re pretty good when they resort to long balls to Doyle and guys running off of them. We knew that was a strength of theirs.

FORWARD OLA KAMARA

On how satisfied he was playing his first 90 minutes…
It felt good to play 90 of course. I wanted that dream debut for 90 min with a goal and that we would win. Unfortunately that didn’t happen but I think the guys fought well and I felt good out there.

On the mood of the team during the game…
I think from the beginning of the game the guys wanted to fight for each other. I think we did that the whole game and we were lacking a little bit of rhythm in the attacking style. I think all the guys used a lot of energy to try to get three points and unfortunately we only got one but the mood of the guys was trying to show that we want to compete and we want to win games.

On if it took him time to get into the rhythm of the team…
I think I got on the end of some balls so I had some chances in the game, maybe I could have finished them better to make our team go up 2-0 or 2-1 but I think it felt good. Against Veracruz my movement was maybe a little bit better or the guys found me a little bit better so hopefully we can work on the movement and the passing next week.

On if he can surprise teams with what he can do…
Yeah, hopefully I can. Hopefully I can get in good shape as well I feel like it’s coming soon so when I get a goal and maybe a little momentum it can be good and I think absolutely that I can surprise some teams with the style I play.

GOALKEEPER STEVE CLARK

On what he makes of the result…
They did a very good job pressing us. I would say that it’s a point, so I’m going to take that.

On if the point was well taken…
We aim to win games but I think a point, as we gain traction and as we continue to develop, a point is very good for us. It keeps us trucking up, it’s not a loss, it keeps us going. There is a lot of stuff going on underneath the surface, it’s very, very good, and the fruit will come out.

On the week…
I’m very in the present moment, so it was [about] this team now. You saw a lot of good stuff, you saw a goal, you saw [Harrison Afful] had a great chance. You also saw me missing a few passes; I wish I had some back. You saw other guys missing some passes. When teams really, really tactically prepare for us and our pattern of play, it’s challenging. I take it as a personal challenge to get better and I’m very excited about that. I think we’re all very excited to get back to work. There is a lot of fruit that’s going to be harvested.

On Colorado’s press…
You need a lot of movement, and when I have a pass to hit, I need to hit that pass. You saw a couple of times in the beginning, with Justin [Meram], I missed a couple of those. You saw some other passes – they’re there, but it’s not two or three options anymore, it’s one and you have to hit that. We have to move. Really, it’s a new era for us. The first point is good. We’re building.

On Michael Parkhurst…
He’s battled really hard and he has a big job to do with big guys crashing the box. [Kevin] Doyle is a proven goal-scorer with his head and Michael did a great job with that. I would say he’s a really gutsy guy and he’s our captain for a reason.

MIDFIELDER CEDRICK MABWATI (through a Columbus Crew SC translator)

On starting and playing 60 minutes…
I felt very good. I was happy to be there for my team. And, it’s definitely exciting to be able to start a match and help the team out today.

On what Gregg Berhalter said to him before the match…
He said that I’ve been doing well in practice and that I’ve been working hard. And for that reason I should look to do the same thing on the field today.

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