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Crew Notes and Scraps

April 28, 2008

I did have a chance to attend the coaches chalk talk this past weekend. Coach Schmid, Mr. Bliss, and Mr. McCullers covered a wide range of topics in the hour plus question and answer session. I am going to cover some of this with the bullet point treatment below the jump.

  • Emmanuel Ekpo trained well. He has not played recently and is regaining fitness. Coach Schmid would like to play him about 60 minutes for the Conner Senn match tomorrow. Coach Schmid also had this anecdote: Ekpo put in some extra work after a training session on Thursday with assistant coach Mike Lapper, after the session Lapper said that Ekpo was going to be hard to keep of the field once he is fit, he is just that good.
  • On the topic of the start of the season, Coach Schmid cites Schelotto staying central for the early success. He noted Carroll can complete 70-80 percent of his passes, which is 10 or 20 percent better than last year. Gaven needs to assert himself a little more, but he is also tasked with some defensive responsibilities. Rogers also is developing greater confidence.
  • He also noted that the team is training well and that most players don’t grumble about playing time until the losses start to mount. He noted an example with new forward Niko Hernandez. He took him aside and told him to keep doing what he is doing. He is pleased with the efforts the reserves are putting in, but you don’t need to change much when you are 3-1 (now 4-1).
  • On the defense, O’Rourke, and Padula: Coach Schmid wants to see more zeros (accomplished on Saturday). He also has told O’Rourke that he needs to be more aware of his surroundings. He has the skill, but needs to work on his mindset. Padula is working to get fit, he has not played much (he also now picked up an injury of indeterminate severity). It was close to this time Coach Schmid had to prepare for the game. McCullers and Bliss then offered to take some questions.
  • McCullers did say that two locations are the finalists for the new training facility, Hilliard and Delaware County. He did not set a timeline other than they hope that the deal will be done this summer.
  • McCullers also noted that the Pioneer Cup is not dead. They had some concerns about the preseason weather in Columbus and are looking towards and exhibition on a Military Base. He wanted something that would honor Lamar Hunt and noted his ties to support of the military.
  • McCullers also was heated about the recent Dispatch article about low attendance. He thought they picked some poor metrics and did not note the positive business developments the Crew has done in the past year. He also made no apologies as April is not the Crew’s kindest months as far as weather and attendance is concerned.

There was much more, but my notes are hazy past this point. If anyone else was there, feel free to fill in the blanks or correct my misstatement in the comments.

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