Tag Archives: Pipa Higuain

Wrapping Up the Home Games With A Win

Official Columbus Crew Reporter

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

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @hils4crew

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Columbus Crew vs Impact

Hilary - Columbus Crew/mlsfemale
Official Columbus Crew Reporter

By Hilary // @hils4crew

Saturday, June 24: 4-1 Win

It was a pretty night both weather and win-wise in Crew-ville Saturday night as Columbus Crew SC defeated the Montreal Impact 4-1. 

My regular Crew SC partner in crime was traveling, so I brought a friend with me who used to have her own season ticket before moving away.  She hasn’t been to a game in several years.  So, it was fun listening to her take on the team.  During the first half, the two comments she made about the team that stuck out to me were:  “They seem like they play very lackadaisical,” and “Why do they keep playing backward?  They need to attack and go forward.” 

I don’t disagree with her observations.  I frequently think the team comes out too slow and doesn’t move the ball fast enough.  They either start the game without intensity or lose it as the game progresses, which I think has been an issue for them all year.  As for playing out of the back, I tried to explain that it is part of Berhalter’s style of play, but when I tried to describe the benefits of that style of play, I couldn’t.  Gregg has been tweaking his style of play this year and probably needs to continue to do so. 

With this astute assessment, it wasn’t surprising that the first half showed us slipping into the same pattern of play that have plagued us this season.  Pipa sent a beautiful free kick into the net in the 17’.  The team was joyful and confident.  That ended 2 minutes later when Montreal tied it up after a poor give away by Higuain and as Crew SC’s defense scrambled to unsuccessfully shut down Montreal. 

Then, the second half started, and Montreal dominated possession for the first five minutes of the half.  My only thought was, “Oh no, here we go again.”  I was sure we were going to give away a lead turned tie for a loss. 

However, Crew SC proved me wrong.  They held strong until reinforcements arrived in the form of Kekutah Manneh who was subbed into the match in the 69’ for Justin Meram and Adam Jahn who was subbed into the match in the 87’ for Ola Kamara.

Manneh scored his first Crew SC goal in the 70’ that Ola Kamara dead stopped for him right outside the 6’ box, and then Manneh assisted Kamara 2 minutes later.  Then in the 88’, Pipa scored another goal when Zack Steffen sent a long ball that Adam Jahn headed to Higuain. 

These were pretty goals.  This is the kind of attacking soccer that when Crew SC plays, they win.   Let’s hope they continue this kind of attack against Atlanta United this Saturday.

Random Thoughts:

  • I feel like a broken record….  Injury-free Higuain continues to dominate having scored in the last 4 games.  Those lamenting us keeping Higuain at the beginning of the season are probably glad we did now.  Let’s keep the scoring streak going Pipa!
  • As a very biased Finlay fan, I know he hasn’t scored or assisted since the start of the season, but his work rate kept the defense tired and resulted in multiple corner kicks.  He also drew the foul that provided Higuain with the free kick to score Crew SC’s first goal of the game.  His time will come.   
  • I was surprised to see Justin Meram subbed off in the 69’, but I think Montreal limited his match to some degree.  I’m sure they didn’t want another hat trick from Meram like the last time these two teams faced each other this season, and Montreal gave him slightly less room to maneuver.
  • Okay, I need to discuss Jonathan Mensah.  In the 33’, he sent a ball over to Zack Steffen when Zack had a Montreal Impact player nearby unmarked.  It was a big gaffe.  One that made everyone in my section ready to throw in the towel on Mensah.  However after watching the replay, it looked like he was trying to send the ball to Harrison Afful across the field and mishit the ball, which happens from time to time.  However, he seems to go backwards with the ball too often even when he has players forward to pass to.  At the beginning of the season, I figured it was due to adjusting to a new league, team, and system.  I gave him the benefit of the doubt.  Now, I just don’t know.  I’m starting to wonder if the game is getting to him mentally and causing him to make even more mistakes.   I’m starting to become okay with the idea of leaving him on the bench despite his big paycheck.  I look forward to the time next season when Gaston Sauro is healthy, and he can pair with Naess in the back.

Featured image courtesy: Columbus Crew facebook

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @hils4crew

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