Columbus Crew coach Gregg Berhalter in dismay after club struggles to make adjustments vs. Toronto FC
COLUMBUS, Ohio - In 2014, Toronto FC have had the Columbus Crew's number.
Their 3-0-0 record in the Trillium Cup's three-match series is the first time Toronto has ever swept Columbus, and after the match, Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter was disappointed that his team wasn't up for the game.
"To lose three games to any team out of three contests, it hurts," he told reporters after the match. "We had intentions to go out there and try to win the game. Credit Toronto for their play, but [ours] wasn't good enough. It's missing a little bit, and that's what bothers me. When you have guys in a game like this, with a chance to get back at them, a chance to climb the table and then to have four or five guys have bad performances, it's not good."
Berhalter said he was disappointed with his team's first half, and saw nothing change after a halftime talk. Toronto dominated the first 15 minutes of the second half, and Berhalter didn't understand why adjustments weren't made.
"We addressed some things at halftime that we thought were giving us trouble, and right at the start of the second half, we kind of went back to doing some of the same things," he said. "Guys need to be accountable. You address something and you talk about it, [but] for us to make that mistake so early in the second half, to me we lacked a little bit of accountability."
But the loss wasn't about tactics, it was about a night of underwhelming individual play, he said.
"We had a number of guys that had subpar performances, and you have to question why," Berhalter said. "You have to question why they're not able to perform up to their standard."
While Berhalter said the team lacked accountability on the field, there was plenty of it in the locker room.
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"I think that's fairly spot on from the boss," defender Eric Gehrig said. "I think some of the guys would be the first ones to tell you we weren't good enough tonight. ... The first 20 minutes of the second half wasn't like us. We weren't doing any of the things that make us successful."
Why did the individual letdowns all come at the same time? Berhalter isn't sure.
"I don't know, I have to look into it," he said. "I have to watch the game again, have some conversations. But it's disappointing, it is. You get to a point where you can start attacking and you can start making some movement in the table. And to have four or five guys have subpar performances, it's not great."
For second half substitute Justin Meram, the match was simply a microcosm of the Trillium Cup in 2014.
"It's a little bit of luck for them, and they pounced on our mistakes," he said. "At their place we were up twice and we ended up losing. Here, we were down twice and we ended up coming back and gave them a light one. That's just the year it is against Toronto."