By Hilary // @hils4crew
With a sold-out crowd for what should have been a pleasant fall game, the rain began to fall, causing a delay at halftime. However, the weather didn’t dampen the play, nor did the fact that Caleb Porter started three central midfielders (Guzman, Trapp, and Artur) that tend to be more defensively minded. Despite the weather and roster shakeup, the Columbus Crew beat the Philadelphia Union 2-0 for the 200th home club win.
While there weren’t a ton of opportunities in the first half with Philadelphia having more possession than the Crew, Luis Diaz made nice attempts at goals in the 15’ and 24’.
After a delayed second half, both teams came out a little more dangerous. The Union almost started the half with goal in the 51’ by Kacper Przybylko who was stopped by Eloy Room.
Then, Youness Mokhtar, who was subbed in on the 57’ for David Guzman, tried to get his first Crew goal by taking a shot in the 60’ after some solid passing from Artur and Diaz.
In the 64’, Philadelphia’s Jamiro Monteiro escaped his defender, making a run towards a cross by Ilsinho, and hitting it over the top of the net.
In the 68’, Gyasi Zardes recovered the ball the at the Crew’s own 18, sent a beautiful pass to Diaz who then laid it off to Pedro Santos. Pedro sent a cheeky little pass out to Mohktar who almost dribbled too much to get off a shot. But he did get the ball off his foot, and in the 69’, Youness scored his first Crew goal.
A lot of credit for this moment goes to Gyasi, who after making the pass to Diaz, sped down the field drawing two Philadelphia defenders towards him. This left his Crew teammates with more space to pass and move the ball.
Artur tried to continue the goals with a nice shot from distance in the 72’. This shot resulted in a deflection from the Philadelphia keeper, Andre Blake, and a corner kick for the Crew.
During the corner kick, Blake punched the ball out to an open Pedro Santos who took a one touch shot into the goal.
While this lead felt good, we have seen the Crew lose too many leads in the waning minutes of a game. However, with a few great saves, the Crew was able to hold on to their 2-0 lead and give Eloy Room his first shut-out as a Crew keeper.
Thoughts About the Game:
It was nice to see the Crew play a solid game from start to finish against a team near the top of the Eastern Conference table. While Philadelphia had its opportunities, the Crew limited them and held on to their lead. If this Crew team had showed up during the long middle of the season losing streak, we might be in the playoffs right now.
I am excited about the future of this team in so many ways. There is a new stadium coming in 2021; the front office is committed to this team, the supporters, and the city; and Caleb Porter has brought on some great players this year. The end of the season is always sad for me though, as it is inevitable that we have witnessed several players who have worn their Crew jerseys for the final time.
I know for teams to evolve the players on the field need to change too. But I hope this isn’t the last season I see Pipa, Trapp, Josh Williams, and several others in the black and gold. The reason I hate the end of the season is because I never feel we get to say a proper good-bye and thank you to those guys—because I believe a lot of these guys after dealing with what they had to the past few seasons—do in fact–bleed black and gold.
So, I will enjoy watching the Crew take on Toronto FC in the final game of the season and hold on to the memories of 2019.
Featured image: @ColumbusCrewSC
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