for four whole days, Christian Ramirez Didn’t do much of anything.
Sure, there were children to argue with and family obligations to take care of. But then The Columbus Crew bowed out of their League Cup game with a loss on August 4 to Minnesota United in a penalty shootout.the veteran striker and his teammates have been given the opportunity to embrace the resulting gap in their schedule.
“My kids (luckily) had custody for two of those days,” Ramirez said Thursday morning. “I was just home. I got a massage, spent some time with my wife, and spent the other days with my kids.”
Then it was officially back in action for what would prove to be essentially a mid-season mini-camp leading up to the resumption of MLS play on Sunday. With a rivalry facing off against FC Cincinnati. This will be the Crew’s first game in 16 days as well as the first league competition for a newly reloaded roster.
The squad is going through a lot of rotation with the addition of Diego Rossi and the departure of Lucas Zelarayan
diego rossi, Julian GrisselAnd Yevhen Shipirko And Rudy Camacho all in. Lukas Zilarayan, Milos Degenek and Eloy Rom are out. It is considered a team that aims to clinch a play-off match as soon as possible, with coach Wilfred Nancy saying that the remaining time for matches has been divided into two weeks.
The first was more philosophical in nature.
“We took this opportunity to work on the basics,” said Nancy. “(It was) like a little camp and going back to basics and speaking the language of football itself. The idea was to be detailed and specific about the ball, without the ball, when we attack, when we defend, all those kinds of situations.”
This led the crew into this week, which was structured as a typical period of game preparation. Although the Crews face their opponent who is also eight points clear of everyone else in the Supporters’ Shield standings, the specific challenges Cincinnati poses will not be discussed in detail until Saturday.
Instead, the focus remains inward for the crew.
“Naturally we would think of a rivalry with Cincinnati, but I didn’t mention Cincinnati because (the players) already know that,” Nancy said. “The way we are and the way we prepare, every game is about us, it’s about what we can do to be better.”
The time between games also helped a gamer like Rossi, signed as the club’s newest designated player, is beginning to figure out how he should try to adapt to the Crew’s attack. Acquired from Turkey, where he’s been playing pre-season, Rossi hasn’t played a full competitive game since May and is unlikely to be on the field throughout Sunday’s game. He will be available for selection, however, and will likely mark his Crew debut.
Ramirez said he had summoned Rossi, his former Los Angeles FC teammate, to his house for a barbecue over the past few days to help him feel at home with his new club.
“We have a good relationship,” Rossi said of Ramirez. “It’s good when you come to a new team you can know this player is good. When I arrived here everyone greeted me in a good way. All the players, my team-mates, the people here at the club, they received me in a good way. It helped a lot to have an understanding.” Quick for the club, the coach’s idea, and also the club’s idea.”
What The Crew pitches against Cincinnati on Sunday will not be a finished product. Learning how to play in Nancy’s system with new players who are expected to play important roles is a process that will take time, and on Thursday the coach said the crew needed to go back to some of its core concepts in order to get more precision in its decision-making. . Ramirez said the crew has been working on things like knowing when to run the ball wide and when to play pressure instead.
You know, little camp type things.
“I was pleased with the spirit,” said Nancy. “I was really happy with the way they trained and the intensity they put in, physically but also mentally. I’m happy.”
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This article originally appeared in the Columbus Dispatch: How the Columbus crew spent two weeks preparing for Hell is real