New Columbus Crew head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter said during a press conference on Tuesday that he had reached out to each player on the team's roster, but declined to elaborate on what he discussed.
Rookie midfielder Wil Trapp told MLSsoccer.com on Friday that Berhalter's call was something of an introductory greeting, but that he and his teammates like what they've heard from the new Crew boss.
“It's been exciting to finally know what the plan is and who's going to be taking over,” said Trapp. “I had heard a few things about him. I don't know him personally, but I've heard good things about his coaching style and rapport with players. I've heard about his time with the national team as player and coach. I think he's an exciting young coach who wants to play a good brand of soccer.”
Trapp said that the conversation he had with Berhalter included a bit about how he thinks he will use the young midfielder in the future.
“He was just kind of seeing how I'm doing, what my offseason plans are, stuff like that, and where he sees myself and other players fitting into his plan,” Trapp said. “I thought it was great to have that outreach from him so early in the process, and to already be talking to us about how we fit into his plan. It's always good from a player standpoint. You want to know what's going on and how you fit into the coach’s theme and game plan.”
While Berhalter's “game plan” has been largely vague thus far, Trapp said that in the team's talks with their new coach, they already have a fairly solid feel for how they'll be playing in 2014.
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“I think he related how he wants to play in a pretty good way,” Trapp said. “He wants to attack and press and play an attractive style of soccer that's going to put fans in stands and give us the best chance to win.”
“Every player wants to hear that,” he continued. “I'm very excited for that. I think it's going to be a great turn for us. I think he has a very clear understanding of what he wants.”
Trapp said that the team was kept in the dark as much as the public during the coaching hunt, and that on their final day of practice Mark McCullers informed them of the coaching decision. He said that he didn't get to meet with former technical director and interim head coach Brian Bliss in person, but that he had sent him a text message wishing him luck.
“We got called into training and basically they sat us all down as a team and [McCullers] laid out what the plan was moving forward, and the coaching decision,” Trapp said. “We're sad to see [Bliss] go, but I guess we're starting a new chapter here, and we're excited for what's to come.”