A 1-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo is not the way Crew SC Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter would have preferred to begin the 2015 campaign, but after all, it's not the end of the world.
Without seeing the scoreline, an observer might assume the Black & Gold were the victors as Berhalter's visiting side owned over 60% of the possession on the night and out-shot the Dynamo 18-8, peppering 'keeper Tyler Deric for much of the second half.
But for one sequence of a turnover, a lapse in defense and an excellent opponent finish -- coupled by a standout performance from Deric -- Crew SC probably would have boarded its flight back to Columbus with at least a point in-tow. Dynamo forward Giles Barnes netted the match's only goal in the 66th minute, brilliantly finishing Kofi Sarkodie's cross to give the home side the victory.
"Overall, I’m pretty pleased with our performance, but one moment of [relaxed] defending and then not being able to finish off some chances — and credit to their goalkeeper, he did a really good job," Berhalter said after the match.
"This is one of those games, you’re going to look back and say, ‘We did a lot good in, and it’s unfortunate we didn’t get something out of it.’”
Added midfielder Tony Tchani: "I think we were kind of unlucky. I feel like we didn’t take our chances. We had a few shots on goal, but they had like two good chances that took one [goal]."
The Black & Gold will now have to rebound with back-to-back home matches against Eastern Conference heavy-hitters Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls coming to town to complete the March slate.
Keeping spirits high will be a must for Berhalter's squad.
"In the end we had a lot of opportunities to score, but the ball just wouldn’t fall for us," said defender Emanuel Pogatetz. "We have to keep our heads high. Now we have two home games ahead and we have to get points from those games."