Saturday's 4-1 triumph over the LA Galaxy perpetuated a positive statistic for the Columbus Crew: the club is unbeaten (5-0-3) when leading at halftime this season. In those eight matches, the Crew has scored 13 first-half goals and has notched exactly three shots on target per first half. Compare that to 1.3 shots on target per first half in the 16 matches that the Crew has been tied or trailing after the first 45 minutes, and you can see the importance of an early start.
Beyond starting quickly, the statistic is also a testament to the Crew's ability to get results from positive positions. Consider Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter's opinion on the second half against LA:
"The second half was, to me, more of an exercise in counter-attacking. You saw it. We had guys running in the counter-attack. They switched to three in the back ... and it hurt them. There was a lot of open space."
When asked if he thinks his team's style lends itself well to burying teams that have to chase the game against the Crew, Berhalter said that he hopes so. The evidence supports it, and the Crew will be looking for more of the same against Houston on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images