In reflecting upon Wednesday's loss, Head Coach Caleb Porter made it clear that the evaluation process starts at the top.
"I have to look at myself first, but it wasn’t good enough today," Porter said in his post-match press conference.
Porter spoke on the individual aspects and how that fed into the lack of cohesion, as the veteran coach made it clear how expectations of both the coaching staff and the roster were not met.
"We didn’t get individual performances, we didn’t look cohesive, and it was little things, like not moving the ball quick enough, not finding the right pass, [and] getting caught on the ball," said Porter, who went on to say that it would be too simplistic to blame the recent stretch of results on roster availability.
"It would be easy to look at guys that aren’t in and blame it on that, but we’re not going to do that. We have to figure out ways to play better and win games when we have players out."
"These are special players, but we know that we have enough. I see Aidan [Morris], I see Artur, I see Fatai [Alashe] every day in training. Those are good players, there’s a reason why they’re here and they’re on this roster. It’s not those players. It’s me, It’s Jonah [Jonathan Mensah], it’s G [Gyasi Zardes]. It’s all of us, it’s the collective," Williams said.
Williams said the team is simply in a funk, and that only a collective mentality – one that propelled the Crew to the top of the Supporters' Shield standings – will help raise the tide once again.
"We believe we’re the best team on the field for every game that we step into," Williams said.
"Each season, you’re faced with ups and downs and I think we’re just in a bit of a rut. That’s all it is. I think inside the locker room, from top to bottom, we all believe that we’re one of the top teams in the League."
Fortunately, the quick turnaround means the Club doesn't have much time to dwell, as the Black & Gold look to rebound at home vs. New York City FC (8-7-3, 27 pts.) on Oct. 18.
In the meantime, Porter said it is up to him to have the conversations necessary to help get his guys back on track come Sunday.
"I have to figure out why that is, why aren’t we getting individual performances that are aligned with the potential of some of our senior players and our top guys. I have to figure that out."
Knowing full well what this Crew team is capable of, Porter said that "at the end of the day, this is a moment we have to get through as a team."
Kickoff on Sunday vs. NYCFC is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on SportsTime Ohio and 97.1 FM The Fan.