Takeaway Points: Whitecaps FC
The Crew remains winless in its last four matches after falling to Vancouver, but here are three things to take from the loss:
1. SOMETIMES SOCCER IS A GAME OF LUCK
Over the course of 90 minutes at Crew Stadium on Saturday night, fans witnessed both ends of the luck spectrum as the Crew fell 1-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
To start, the Black & Gold had two goals disallowed in the first 6 minutes. In his second consecutive start, Josh Williams put away a fantastic finish past Joe Cannon from a Milovan Mirosevic corner kick, only to have it whistled back as a foul was called on captain Chad Marshall in the third minute.
Just three minutes later, the Crew had its second goal disallowed as Eddie Gaven was narrowly offside when he slid Aaron Schoenfeld's pefectly chested pass by Cannon and into the net.
It's unclear what Williams did to anger the soccer gods, but he was denied again in the 16th minute as his bicycle kick from a Marshall headed pass banged off the crossbar. What was clear was that Lady Luck wasn't on Columbus' side Saturday night.
On the other end of the spectrum, Vancouver couldn't have been luckier as Lee Young-Pyo's free kick intended for Atiba Harris curled into the top left corner of Andy Gruenebaum's goal. The South Korean right back admitted after the match that he was lucky to notch his first MLS goal.
“My goal was lucky. It was a lucky goal for me and for our team. I went to try a strong cross, but it scored," Young-Pyo said.
The Crew was the better team for 90 minutes, but four unlucky instances led to a 1-0 result.
2. SOLID SECOND STARTS
Despite Lee Young-Pyo's fortuitous free kick tally, the Crew's defended well all night against one of the league's most potent attacks of Eric Hassli, Sebastien Le Toux, and Omar Salgado. In just their second career starts, both Nemanja Vukovic and Josh Williams showed little inexperience as both had admirable performances defensively. In addition to his role in central defense, Williams was a threat on set pieces (see above) him Barbasol Man of the Match honors. Meanwhile, Vukovic was a force on the left side, whipping in crosses and serving up excelleng corners.
3. NO AWARD FOR STYLE POINTS
The Crew dominated nearly every statistical category, except for the one column that matters: goals.
The Black & Gold completed nearly 80-percent of its 501 passes on Saturday night while mainting possession for 62.8-percent of the match. Columbus also forced nine corners compared to just two for the Whitecaps.
It's clear that a team doesn't win games by completing passes or keeping possesions, it wins by scoring goals. However, if the Crew continues to win the possession battle and pass efficiently, the goals will come.