Sporting Kansas City
Jack McInerney couldn't have picked a better way to make his debut at MAPFRE Stadium. The young Columbus Crew SC striker came on for Kei Kamara in the 64th minute vs. Sporting Kansas City after the Black & Gold had fallen behind 2-1. Twenty-four minutes later, McInerney had scored his first ever Crew SC goal and helped the Black & Gold to a thrilling 3-2 win.
Looking at the stats, it may be difficult to believe Crew SC held a lead only for the final five minutes of the match. Here, we break down the Saturday's match by the numbers.
Crew SC overcame two different setbacks to secure the win. Marcel de Jong’s 14th-minute goal put Sporting KC up for 21 minutes in the first half prior to Ethan Finlay’s 35th-minute equalizer. Graham Zusi then put Sporting Kansas City ahead again in the 62nd minute before Tony Tchani drove home another equalizer in the 80th. It only took eight more minutes for McInerney to make one heck of a first impression on his home supporters.
The chants of “Hi-gua-ín” reverberated throughout MAPFRE Stadium frequently on Saturday night. Translation: Pipa had one busy night taking corners. Crew SC’s attack also did well to apply constant pressure on Sporting KC’s backline to earn said corner kicks. Keeping with the theme of constant pressure, Crew SC also fired off 31 crosses to Sporting KC’s 13. In addition, SKC was forced to make a whopping 26 clearances.
Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter’s system thrives when Crew SC can move the ball efficiently, and the Black & Gold did exactly that. Crew SC won the passing category 491-235 and finished with 80% passing accuracy. Sporting KC mustered up only 57% accuracy.
MLSsoccer.com's Dan Haiek and Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle preview the Wednesday night match between the Columbus Crew and Sporting KC.
MOVING FORWARD AFTER LOSS AT NEW YORK
Following the club’s 4-1 defeat on Saturday in New York, Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter remained positive in providing a course of action heading into a stretch of four matches in 11 days, beginning Wednesday ... said Berhalter, “We got to pick ourselves up, right? We got to pick ourselves up and move on. Put this game behind us. It’s over as of now and we’re moving forward. I think the message to the guys is ‘Let’s not talk about it, let’s do it.’”
FRANCIS, GONZALEZ AVAILABLE FOR SELECTION
Crew defenders Waylon Francis and Giancarlo Gonzalez represented the Crew in Brazil during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and are now available for selection this week after meeting the team in New York last weekend ... Gonzalez started and played in every single match for The Ticos ... Gonzalez also added successful spot kicks during penalty kicks on June 29 as Costa Rica advanced past Greece and in the team’s final match against the Netherlands on July 5 in the Quarterfinals ... Gonzalez last played MLS action on May 17 at Portland while Francis departed ahead of that trip and last took the field in League play on May 10 against Portland.
BEDELL BAGS HIS FIRST
Adam Bedell came on as a substitute and provided the Crew’s lone goal on Saturday night in New York ... the tally was Bedell’s first career strike in his rookie campaign ... per MLS, he also becomes the tallest player (6 feet, 7 inches) to score a goal in MLS history.
FOLLOWING ARRIETA INJURY, BERHALTER TURNED TO BEDELL
Needing to make an early substitution due to a Jairo Arrieta leg injury, Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter turned to forward Adam Bedell in the 25th minute ... Bedell went on to score his first career goal 14 minutes later ... said Berhalter, “I think it’s great that he got off the mark and he got a goal. He’s a good finisher. We need to keep creating opportunities for him because he can finish.”
Dan Haiek and Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle preview the Sunday afternoon match between Sporting KC and the Columbus Crew. Will Benny Feilhaber have space to operate against the Crew midfield? How will Columbus attack with Aurelien Collin missing the match? Find out Sunday at 4:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
RIDING A THREE-MATCH UNBEATEN STREAK ...
The Crew enters Sunday’s match with a three-match unbeaten streak following a trio of 1-1 draws the last three weekends ... after scoring a first-half goal in San Jose before finishing 1-1 on April 13, the Crew earned a point with a 90th-minute goal in the 1-1 result against D.C. United at home on April 19 ... last weekend against New York, the Crew came away with a point in the 1-1 result at Crew Stadium.
... AND CREW HISTORICALLY STRONG AFTER THREE STRAIGHT DRAWS
The Black & Gold enter Sunday’s match following three straight draws dating back to April 13 at San Jose ... it marks just the fifth time in club history -- and first time since 2009 -- that the team has played to a trio of consecutive deadlocked matches ... the Crew is perfect (3-0-1) in the the match immediately following three straight draws ... a look at those matches is below:
- May 9, 2009 – vs. Kansas City, W, 3-2
- April 28, 2007 – vs. DC United, W, 1-0
- July 4, 2006 – at Houston, T, 1-1
- July 28, 2004 – vs. FC Dallas, W, 2-1
LOOKING TO REVERSE FORTUNES AT SPORTING PARK
The Crew is 1-3-0 in the team’s previous four trips to Sporting Park and the Black & Gold look to change that trend on Sunday ... the team’s lone win came in 2012 with Jairo Arrieta’s two goals in the first half on July 28 ... Arrieta added a third goal in the venue last year on June 29 in the wild, back-and-forth 3-2 loss.
STILL UNBEATEN ON THE ROAD
The Crew opens a two-match road swing with a test against Sporting KC on Sunday before a midweek clash at Houston ... the Black & Gold enter the weekend unbeaten (2-0-1) in their first three road matches of 2014 ... the team’s road winning percentage (.833) is second in MLS this year behind Seattle (3-0-1, .875 winning percentage) ... the best road start for the Black & Gold occured in 2010 when Crew went unbeaten in its first five road matches, posting a 2-0-3 mark away from Crew Stadium.
The Crew will hope to learn from the mistakes it made in a 3-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City on September 7 when it hosts Peter Vermes' side on Saturday in search of its fourth-straight victory. Before the Black & Gold clash with Sporting, here is a look back at the last meeting between the two clubs.
An early penalty awarded to Sporting doomed the visiting Crew early as Claudio Bieler calmly converted from the spot. Later in the first half, Soony Saad found space in the box to make the deficit 2-0 just before halftime. Though the Crew's play improved in the second half, it wasn't enough to match Sporting's class on the evening as C.J. Sapong added a third for the home side in the 55th minute to hand Brian Bliss his first loss as Interim Head Coach.
The Crew and Sporting Kansas City split their three meetings in 2012 right down the middle with each team claiming one match apiece while the finale ended in a draw. Before the two original MLS rivals meet for the first time in 2013, here is a look back at the three battles from last season.
A seventh-minute Jacob Peterson tally gave Sporting an early lead in a midsummer clash between the two midwestern rivals at Crew Stadium. While the Crew created several prime chances in search of an equalizer, Kansas City's All-Star goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen was there to deny the Black & Gold each time. Top-of-the-table Sporting's victory was sealed in the 82nd minute when striker Teal Bunbury finished a Kansas City counterattack to beat Andy Gruenebaum in net.
Despite Kansas City forward Kei Kamara's early goal, the Crew's only trip to Sporting Park in 2012 was the coming out party of newly signed Costa Rican striker Jairo Arrieta. The forward tallied twice to help the Black & Gold overcome an early deficit, including a 30-yard laser past Nielsen to give Columbus the 2-1 lead in the 34th minute. Playing in front of his hometown crowd, Kansas City native Andy Gruenebaum made five crucial saves amid a Sporting onslaught late in the match to preserve the Crew victory.
Just like the first two matches before, Sporting Kansas City scored within the first 10 minutes against the Crew to put the Black & Gold on their heels early. With its playoff chances waning, Eddie Gaven's stoppage-time near-post header past Nielsen was enough to keep the Crew's postseason dreams alive for the time being.