Finding themselves down twice during Monday’s preseason friendly against LAFC, Columbus Crew SC Head Coach Caleb Porter commended the stick-to-itiveness of the team and spoke on the general progression from the group over the past two weeks.
“We had a good majority of guys who played 60 minutes, and I thought we showed an excellent mentality in responding twice to being down 1-0 and then 2-1,” Porter said following the Crew’s 4-2 win over LAFC in a preseason friendly on Feb. 4.
“I thought we were excellent in the attack, and that was something we’ve been looking for – that killer instinct, that ruthlessness in the attack,” Porter said. “And for us to score four goals in this game against a very good team on the road says a lot about that killer instinct and that progression from being a team that keeps the ball to a team that actually creates chances and scores goals out of the possession, and I thought we showed that purpose today.”
Porter emphasized the group’s desire to simulate a regular-season-like approach against LAFC, and how playing against a playoff-caliber club on the road stood as a good stepping stone.
“I thought we made good progress and steps forward,” Porter said. “Obviously, we are only 13 days in, but as the days go by and games go by, we have to be more and more ready for March 2 and it has to feel more and more real. That was the goal today; to play against a very good team. We knew it would be a challenge on the road. We wanted to make it more real.”
Tactically speaking, Porter was pleased with the team’s ability to adjust on the fly.
“That’s the other thing, I thought, our team really showed some variety today,” Porter said. “LAFC was looking to press us and at times we played into their hands. Three of the four goals came when we played balls behind them and I think we have to be willing to do that at times if that’s what the game calls for and if that’s where the space is, and I thought our guys really showed good adjustment, tactically, in that regard.”
Next, the Crew return to Central Ohio before departing for Charleston, S.C. on Feb. 13, as the Club looks to defend its title in the Carolina Challenge Cup starting Feb. 16 against the Chicago Fire at 5 p.m. ET at MUSC Health Stadium.