Another day, another climb up the list as today we are revealing the third-ranked moment of the season for the Black & Gold: the triumphant August 16 home victory over the LA Galaxy by a 4-1 final.
When you reflect back on the 2014 season in terms of memorable home matches, this has to be one of the contests that immediately come to mind. There was a build-up throughout the week in terms of the marquee on-field match-up. The news that Landon Donovan was to be honored before the match added intrigue. By the time that the match began, it was clear that this would be a special night at Crew Stadium.
For me, this was the Black & Gold's best 90-minute performance all season long. The club started strong and imposed its will on LA for the duration of the match. Consider the following: generally, when you get a big lead early, you tend to sit back a little bit and not take as many chances. Thus, the other team can typically fires more shots as it tends to hold the ball a bit more. It's a phenomenon known as "score effects," and it's why stats can get a bit fluky in blowout matches.
That didn't happen for Columbus on this night: despite winning 4-1 and being up early, the Black & Gold outshot LA 21-17 over the full match. The final possession numbers do have some air of score effects about them, but the shot count alone gives you an idea of how effective the Crew was in attack throughout the contest.
The sellout crowd of 20,729 had a lot to cheer about, including this special opening goal from Justin Meram:
Moments later, Ethan Finlay went bar down:
Ben Speas made it 3-1 in the second half before Giancarlo Gonzalez added his first Black & Gold goal in his last-ever match with the club:
The most significant figure from this match? Entering the night, the Crew was 6-8-9 on the season. This match sparked a closing 8-2-1 run for the club. All-in-all, another easy choice for the top moments of the year list.
So, the list now looks like this:
3. Season-sparking explosion against LA
What do you think the top two moments should be? Let me know @CrewSCInsider and stay tuned this week as we reveal the remainder of the list.