Last Saturday marked Luis Argudo’s fifth consecutive start as the Crew prepped for another showdown against the New York Red Bulls, Argudo’s hometown club.
From a fan’s perspective, it was a frustrating opening. A couple close-range opportunities – both by Argudo – were denied. First, a blocked shot by a defender; after that, a save by Luis Robles.
Then, by a matter of inches, New York’s Brian White somehow found space between two centerbacks to land a header on-frame and into the back of the net.
Just like that, another hopeful start saw the Crew down a goal.
But by the end of the day, that is not what was remembered.
In the span of three touches and nearly just as many seconds, the feeling of “here we go again” dissipated (unlike the smoke) into “here we go!”
Argudo brought reassurance by calmly tucking the ball past a sprawling Robles from close-range (and a tighter angle than most realized) before leaping three feet into the air in an almost levitation-like manner, as joy, excitement, and a much-needed sense of relief poured out.
As for Argudo, it meant a lot, of course. But three points on the road is what he will remember.
“We needed those points,” Argudo said at training this week. “We went into a hard place to play in and we left there with three points and that is what is most important.”
More importantly, 3 points! https://t.co/jaOYZ81E9Y— luis argudo (@luis_argudo26) July 28, 2019
Following his goal in the 16th minute, Argudo provided the assist for the then-go-ahead goal from Pedro Santos in the opening moments of the second half.
Looking back, prior to the 2-2 tie at Bridgeview on July 17, Argudo remained without an assist or a goal in nine starts on 28 appearances. Now, in the last three games, the Wake Forest University alum and Third Round 2018 SuperDraft selection has tallied two assists and one goal, all of which have come on the road.
“Like I said after the game, I don’t worry about scoring. If I do, I think about it too much…I just worry about it,” Argudo said. “It was great to get it, especially with my friends and family. It felt nice.”
A New York City native who grew up in Queens, Argudo’s night was made all the more special being in front of friends and family.
“It meant a lot,” Argudo said. “I had a chance in the same way [earlier in the match], and I missed it. You forget about the past and I got the chance again and it was good. My mom and my dad were there, and I dedicate it to them.”
Following Saturday’s match, Argudo used the word “relentless” to describe the Crew’s recent run of form. The 23-year-old emphasized it again this week in training.
“I think it is how relentless we are,” Argudo said. “We have the players to make a far push in the playoffs. We just got to keep going.”
Moving forward, it’s about improvement, according to Argudo.
“I am not anywhere near where I want to be, and I need to keep working and watch film and improve. Just keep going. We don’t want the season to end on October 6. That is my motivation,” Argudo said.
Saturday marks another test for Argudo & Co. as the Crew head to San Jose to take on a climbing Earthquakes team that has won four straight and plays a style similar to the Red Bulls.
“They play like the Red Bulls where there is a lot of space. But we play how we played against the Red Bulls, then we try to get a result,” Argudo said. “They are a good team…but I think we will get it done.”
Kickoff is slated for 10 p.m. ET and supporters can watch the match on SportsTime Ohio, stream on FOX Sports GO, or listen on 97.1 FM The Fan or www.ColumbusCrewSC.com (English & Spanish).