Scoring chances came in waves and in many different forms for Columbus Crew SC on Saturday night. The club registered 20 shots and earned 10 corner kicks, ramping up the pressure on Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush and his defense.
That defense eventually conceded a goal to Federico Higuaín in the 91st minute, but Montreal's two second-half scores guided it to a 2-1 win at MAPFRE Stadium.
Each goal came to be in very different fashions, so examine each one further to see how they came to fruition.
Goal #1 – Maxim Tissot breaks the tie
Andrés Romero make a nice run from midfield to spread things out and allows Tissot to run free along the left side. Hector Jimenez makes a play on the ball before Tissot can get to it, but the ball falling directly in-between backpedaling defenders Michael Parkhurst and Tyson Wahl allows Jack McLnerney to sprint in and put the ball on goal. Tissot, who is left unmarked after Parkhurst lunges after McInerney’s shot, is in the right place at the right time to put the rebound away.
Goal #2 – Romero capitalizes on the counterattack
Crew SC had committed several men forward in response to a free kick from about 30 yards out. When Jimenez’s cross into the box takes a wicked bounce back into the middle of the field, it creates a perfect storm for a counterattack. Romero and Ignacio Piatti had sprung ahead of nine Crew SC players, leaving only Waylon Francis to stand in their way. Romero receives the ball at the edge of the box and finesses it past a sprawling Steve Clark.
Goal #3 – Higuaín jumps on the rebound
Higuaín becomes unmarked after speeding past a jogging Patrice Bernier while the ball is in the air. Whether or not Aaron Schoenfeld meant to get the ball to Higuaín, as opposed to putting it on goal or getting it to Kamara, it landed in the perfect spot in between every Montreal defender. From there, Higuaín had plenty of space to take a touch, aim, and fire away.
The United States Women’s National Team will embark on a quest for a third World Cup trophy this week in Canada. The perennial power has shined in venues all over the world, but much like its male counterparts, the USWNT has found success in Columbus, Ohio.
Despite an unfavorable World Cup draw in 2003 – one that found them pitted in the “Group of Death” with Sweden, Nigeria, and North Korea – the United States came out on top with three wins, with the last victory coming at the hands of then up and coming women’s soccer power North Korea in Columbus, Ohio.
A crowd of 22,828 people witnessed a 3-0 U.S. victory on September 28, 2003, as the Red, White and Blue did well to handle a North Korea team that outscored its opponents 50-3 during the qualifying stages. Some analysts even considered North Korea a dark-horse candidate to win the Women’s World Cup.
That result at MAPFRE Stadium sent the U.S. on to Foxborough and then Portland for the knockout stages. The U.S. eventually won the bronze medal-- its fourth visit to the podium in as many World Cups.
Most recently, the U.S. Women’s Team last played at MAPFRE Stadium in May of 2013, as a 1-1 draw against New Zealand improved its record in Columbus to 4-1-1, continuing the trend of Columbus representing a fortress of sorts for U.S soccer.
Though this year’s World Cup takes place elsewhere this time around, we'll be here cheering them on and wishing them all the best from Columbus, when the U.S. Women’s Team kicks off against Australia on Monday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Emanuel Pogatetz heads the ball past Phildelphia Union's Andrew Wenger in Crew SC's 3-0 loss at PPL Park.
Philadelphia’s May schedule featured five matches against four of the League’s premier teams. Playing better teams can result in a higher level of play, regardless of the outcome, and that effort carried into Wednesday night’s match against Columbus Crew SC (4-5-4.)
Goals from Vincent Noguiera and Sebastien Le Toux came only six minutes apart from one another early in the second half. That put Philadelphia (4-8-3) up 3-0, where it would remain for the duration of the match.
Crew SC Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter said Philadelphia's performance was the best play he's seen from them.
"Well, I think the starting point is the Philadelphia Union played an outstanding game," said Berhalter. "When you look at how effective they were and how they were winning challenges and moving the ball, and the competitive desire to win the game, it was outstanding. I think that’s the best I have seen Philly play."
On paper, the clubs did not differ drastically. In stats such as possession, shots, crosses, tackles won, and clearances, the two sides were nearly identical. Columbus and Philadelphia generated only seven on-target shots cumulatively, not including a first half Ethan Finlay shot that missed the post by inches. But Philadelphia’s flurry within the middle 30 minutes of the match created the right opportunities and the Union executed well.
As for Crew SC, a slightly altered starting line-up, highlighted by the absence of captain Michael Parkhurst, proved to be a tough obstacle to overcome, especially with the club playing another road match just four days prior. Wednesday’s match marked the fourth match in 13 days, including last week’s international friendly against Valencia CF, making it difficult to find time for a new unit to mesh.
Chad Barson accepted the challenges, made several strong, defensive tackles throughout the match, and reflected on his team's performance afterward.
"Definitely not the result we wanted," said Barson. "Three games in a short amount of time all against eastern conference teams, so obviously very important games for us and it’s an opportunity, if you get results, to move up in the standings. I think overall it wasn’t terrible, but just a few plays that kind of dug us a hole and it was too difficult to dig ourselves out of."
Teammate Aaron Schoenfeld, made his first start of the season, playing up top and registering a shot on goal tonight. Defender Sergio Campbell also got his first taste of MLS action, starting in the place of the aforementioned Parkhurst. Schoenfeld agreed with Barson on their team's play.
"I think it just wasn’t our day today. We threw away a couple of chances early, so if we take one of those, it changes the game up," said Schoenfeld. "Once they score that goal, they have some confidence behind them and start moving the ball a lot better. On any given day in this league, any team can win, which is the good thing about this league – there’s very little disparity between the teams. So if you come out flat, you’re going to get punished."
Barson is also grateful for the opportunity to play five matches in 16 days.
"That’s the good thing about having so many games in a short amount of time," said Barson. "You forget the previous result and move onto the next one and make sure that you recover physically and mentally and put everything towards the next game."
One of the bright spots for the Black & Gold tonight was Mohammed Saeid establishing himself as the League’s second-most accurate passer with a passing percentage of 89.5 percent. The ranking includes only players who have registered at least 200 passes.
Another quick turnaround lies ahead for Crew SC, but the scene will change to familiar surroundings when the Black & Gold welcome the Montreal Impact to MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
D.C. United– 25 pts. | 1-0 loss at Portland Timbers FC, 2-1 win vs. Philadelphia Union, this week: vs. Chicago Fire, vs. Toronto FC
After a 1-0 loss to Portland on Wednesday, D.C. United bounced back strong and snapped a three-game winless streak in a come-from-behind victory against the Philadelphia Union. An early goal from the Union’s Sebastian Le Toux was matched by D.C.’s 85th minute penalty kick from Chris Rolfe. This sealed a United victory at RFK Stadium and extended its lead in the Eastern Conference to four points.
New England Revolution – 21 pts. | 2-2 draw vs. LA Galaxy, this week: at Portland Timbers FC
In a rematch of last season’s MLS Cup Final, the New England Revolution came out of a hard-fought match with two goals and one point as they tied the LA Galaxy 2-2 in a rain-soaked match at Gillette Stadium. An offensive first half left the match tied at two goals apiece at the half, only to stay that way when the final whistle blew. Despite holding on to the majority of the possession in the second half, New England couldn’t find the back of the net for a third time.
New York Red Bulls – 17 pts. | 2-1 loss at Seattle Sounders FC, this week: at Houston Dynamo
Heartbreak struck the New York Red Bulls this weekend after a stoppage-time goal from Seattle’s Chad Barrett that sealed the deal for a 2-1 Sounders' victory. The Red Bulls started off strong with a goal in the 36th minute, as a free kick deflection gave New York's Lloyd Sam an easy sitter to finish in front of the net. But Seattle stood defiant, scoring two goals in the final 22 minutes to steal the win and take over the top spot in the Western Conference.
Toronto FC – 16 pts. | 3-1 win vs. San Jose Earthquakes, this week: at D.C. United
Toronto FC leaps into a tie for fourth place in the East thanks to a team effort offensively. Though trailing San Jose in possession and passing statistics, Toronto connected well as a team with three goals scored by three different players. Toronto extended its home win streak to two games.
Columbus Crew SC – 16 pts. | 2-2 draw at Orlando City SC, this week: at Philadelphia Union, vs. Montreal Impact
Despite conceding a late-game goal, the Black & Gold can hold their heads high after their 2-2 draw at Orlando. Tony Tchani gave the visiting squad the early go-ahead goal thanks to a cross from Hector Jimenez. It gave Tchani the opportunity to capitalize on a header from eight yards out, and that he did. After a far-post penalty shot from Kaká, the Lions leveled the match at 1-1 and resumed to play up a man. Columbus, meanwhile, held well defensively and managed to retake the lead. A counterattacking cross from Waylon Francis found the head of Kei Kamara for his 10th goal of the season. In the end, Columbus fared well despite playing down a man. A powerful low-bearing strike from Pedro Ribeiro evened the match and sent Columbus home with a hard-earned road point.
Chicago Fire – 14 pts. | 3-0 win vs. Montreal Impact, this week: at D.C. United, vs. Orlando City SC
The Chicago Fire ended a four-match winless streak over a Montreal Impact squad that played with only 10 men for a majority of the match. With possession (64.8%), shots on target (11), and crossing opportunities (22) all favoring Chicago, it would have been disappointing for the hometown team not to have reached a winning result. Despite a rain-soaked pitch, the Fire’s high-paced offense remained intact. Goals from defender Jeff Larentowicz, midfielder Harrison Shipp and forward Kennedy Igboananike continues Chicago’s potent offensive play, having scored five goals in the club’s last two matches.
Orlando City SC – 14 pts. | 2-2 draw vs. Columbus Crew SC, this week: at Chicago Fire
An 89th minute goal from Orlando City’s Pedro Ribeiro salvaged a point for the home team. A successful penalty kick from Kaká, his fourth of the season, left the game at a 1-1 tie until Kei Kamara’s 61st minute header gave the visiting squad the lead. After struggling to conjure up any threatening offensive opportunities, Ribeiro-turned-savior provided the missing link, blasting a low driven ball past Crew SC goalkeeper Steve Clark for Orlando City’s game-tying goal.
Philadelphia Union – 12 pts. | 2-1 loss at D.C. United, this week: vs. Columbus Crew SC, vs. NYC FC
The Union witnessed their two-game win streak snapped at the hands of an 85th minute penalty kick, completing a come-from-behind victory for D.C. United. Philadelphia trailed significantly in possession (39.6%) and rarely were the first to fifty-fifty balls, trailing in duels won 41-53. But the road team held it together defensively in the final third until a mishandled cross in the Union’s own box resulted in a hand ball being called. A successful penalty kick from United’s Chris Rolfe translated to D.C.’s game-winning goal.
Montreal Impact – 8 pts. | 3-0 loss at Chicago Fire, this week: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, at Columbus Crew SC
Though only having played eight regular season games this season, after a 3-0 loss to the Chicago Fire, Montreal sits in the bottom of the East. After a second yellow card was shown to midfielder Marco Donadel, Montreal became the fifth team to play down a man against the Chicago Fire this season. In the end, Chicago’s speed gave them the possession advantage (64.8%) and the hometown team outshot Montreal by a tally of 20-3, with zero shots on target for Montreal.
NYC FC – 8 pts. | 1-1 vs. Houston Dynamo, this week: at Philadelphia Union
After trading first-half goals, New York City FC and Houston Dynamo played to a 1-1 draw at Yankee Stadium. For New York it was a David Villa penalty kick in first half stoppage-time that kept the home team afloat. However, New York City remains winless in its last 11 games, sitting tied for last in the East with only eight points in 13 regular season games played.