Justin Meram CLBvMTL 6-18-16
Trevor Ruszkowski / USA Today Sports Images

Post-match quotes: Crew SC vs. Montreal Impact

SPORTING DIRECTOR AND HEAD COACH GREGG BERHALTER

On the 0-0 scoreline…
Yeah, I’m still a little surprised. Our objective was to move them around a little bit more than we did. And give them credit for some good defensive shape, but we should’ve had them moving much more. And there was slow ball circulation, it was guys not body shape-receiving the ball, positioning inside between the lines. All of those things could’ve been a little bit better. The positive thing was we got some guys that haven’t played for a while, we got them back and getting them into the game. The last time Tony [Tchani] started a game was a while ago; Tyson [Wahl] the same thing. I think there are some positives to take from it.

On the result of the match...
Again, I like the lineup. I thought the lineup had a lot of flexibility in it and we just didn’t execute that. There wasn’t much time to really work with the group on some of the concepts. We’ll get better. The movements will be much crisper next game.

On the strong play of the defense in transition…
I think on those two transition moments we did a good job. I’m not happy that they came in the first place. I think we should’ve been balanced better. We knew the opponent was going to sit back, be very cautious and play for a point. So as far as they’re concerned, they accomplished their mission. That’s just discipline.

On the status of Ola Kamara and Mohammed Saeid…
Ola [Kamara] was limited. We had a directive to limit his minutes, and that’s why he came on when he did. Mo [Mohammed Saeid] had a good couple days of training after the Open Cup game, after sitting out there, and he felt like he was able to go.

On his biggest takeaway from the match…
I think there is a balance between positive things today and negative things. We got some guys back in the squad. I think that was important. And in terms of playing without the personnel that we’re going to be playing with for the next couple of weeks, maybe months, we’re going to have to improve. We’re going to have to get better.

On if he expects Ethan Finlay to be a long-term option at forward…
We’re going to have to talk to the medical staff on that one to see where everyone is after this game. Every game you do a post-game evaluation to see where guys’ fitness levels are, and you use that to help guide the next lineup.

On using Rodrigo Saravia as a substitute…
As that game went on, and as they started to come forward, especially at the end of the game, I thought there were some counterattack moments that we could take advantage of. And the key to counterattacking is first winning the ball. So, with [Rodrigo Saravia] in there, we felt like he would give us that balance in winning the ball and then pushing forward to try to score on that counterattack.

On Mohammed Saeid playing in a different position…
Give Mo [Mohammed Saeid] credit for getting out there and trying to fulfill that role. But that’s something that we as coaches need to define more clearly to him. And we want him in the pockets higher. And so we’re going to work on that this week.

On the upcoming transfer window…
We have a clear objective of what we want to accomplish in the transfer window. You guys will see things start to come out in the next couple of days. We want to improve the team. It’s only about trying to get better. We use every training session, every opportunity to improve the team. So we’ll be focused on trying to do the same thing in this transfer window.

GOALKEEPER STEVE CLARK

On the result of the match…
I think that any time we step on the field we want three points, especially at home. But in saying that, I thought the defense did a really good job, with a couple of the transition moments. So overall I’m happy with the shutout and we move on.

On having continuity back in the defense…
Obviously we’ve played a lot of games with Michael [Parkhurst] and Tyson [Wahl] leading the way back there, so I know what to expect from them more. So I think it’s very good to get Tyson back in the fold. As Gregg [Berhalter] said, we liked our lineup tonight, we’re kind of accepting what it is with who’s there. We like our guys and we’re going to move forward.

On having the third most starts for a goalkeeper in club history…
Any time you play a professional game it’s an achievement. But other than that, I’m not crossing off checkmarks. We’re just looking for points. Usually in the week we have so many blinders on, focusing on the task at hand, with defending [Didier] Drogba and those guys out there.

On the mentality of the team…
We’re very cohesive and united as a group to accomplish what we have at hand. We’re a group that’s going to be very looked forward to with the Red Bulls coming into town and the stretch of games in the summer. We love playing in the summer. But overall, we’re a very united team right now.

MIDFIELDER JUSTIN MERAM

On his thoughts of the game…
We had our fair chances. I can’t really think of the chances they had. I don’t even really think that [Didier] Drogba had a shot on goal and that’s a testament to our defense. I thought they were outstanding, between Michael [Parkhurst] and Tyson [Wahl] they contained them and really limited them, one really dangerous chance the whole game.

On his corner kick header…
It was close. I think there were all four of us on top of each other and I was fortunate to get it, but that’s just the way it’s going for me at the moment. I’m just so close on numerous chances the past couple of games, off the post, corner off the post in [Philadelphia], and right here just wide. Hopefully it turns around.

On the new chemistry in the attacking third…
The chemistry is there. Hector [Jimenez] is a veteran in this league, Ethan [Finlay], myself, Tony [Tchani], Moe [Saeid]. All of these guys have played many games in this league, so the chemistry was there and like I said we had our fair chances. Two free kicks at the top of the box, we have to do better there.

On Ethan Finlay’s performance as striker…
I thought it was good. I think he didn't get the ball enough. I think we all have to do a little bit better job of finding him. He was making good runs, but I think we have to break some of their lines a little bit quicker.

On Ethan Finlay’s style of runs…
He’s a different type of player, he’s quicker, he’s got great movement as well, and he works extremely hard. I felt like in the game we were the better team and we had the better chances. We just have to put one in the back of the net.

FORWARD OLA KAMARA

On the result of the game…
I think the team fought a good game and Montreal [Impact] is a good team. Of course we wanted three points, but it’s a game where one point is okay.

On his hamstring injury…
It was a little bit since Tuesday, so it was the day before the Cup match. Today of course I wanted to play the whole game and I couldn’t today, but for me I think it’s a very small thing and I think my focus is to get ready for Saturday. If I play it will be no problem.

On Columbus Crew SC’s injuries…
I think that we have, of course, been a little bit unlucky with the injuries, but I think the group just needs to keep going and some luck as well.

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