By Hilary // @hils4crew
Saturday, June 3: 2-1 Loss
Another lead given away, another 3 points dropped, and the cries for a coaching change are growing louder as the Colorado Rapids defeated Columbus Crew SC 2-1 on Saturday night. Berhalter sent out a different formation than normal, essentially a 3-4-2-1, with three centerbacks in the back—Williams, Crognale, and Naess.
There wasn’t a ton to write back home about in the first half. Crew SC had a few nice chances that they couldn’t seem to finish.
- In the 11’, Meram sent a pretty ball through to Kamara who just couldn’t get to it.
- Later in the 18’, Wil Trapp got a cleared ball from a Crew SC corner kick, sent a pass to Francis, who sent a gorgeous ball to Pipa, who got it to Kamara who just didn’t get it finished.
- In the 26’, Afful sent a mini-chip between two Rapid defenders to Higuain, who sent it to Meram. However, it was intercepted by the defense before Meram could get to it.
The Rapids were really limited in opportunities until the 30’ where they had multiple chances including one that forced Steffen to make a double save against Colorado’s Gashi in the 33’. It’s difficult to explain, but I just didn’t sense extreme intensity radiating from anyone (outside of Pipa) during the first half until about the 33’ when the Rapids had multiple chances.
The second half seemed to start with more intensity from both sides.
- In the 61’, Crew SC broke it open when Justin Meram sent a ball to Higuain who was left open slightly outside the Rapids 18.
- Pipa took the shot as Colorado’s Azira came in to challenge the ball.
- The shot deflected off of Azira into the Rapid’s net.
I’m not going to lie. At this point, I felt pretty good about the possibility of winning this game. Colorado is at the bottom of the table, and while the Rapids had some good chances earlier in the game, I felt like we had limited their opportunities fairly well. I had put the earlier leads lost by Crew SC behind me.
Letting my guard down was a mistake as Colorado scored two goals between the 80’ and 86’. The 80’ goal found Hairston running through the middle of the field without much of a challenge, allowing him to send the ball to Mo Saied, who crossed it to two Rapid players running unmarked to the backside of our goal where Kevin Doyle was able to finish it. Then in the 86’, Gordon, essentially unmarked on the backside of the goal, headed the ball in giving Colorado the lead.
Another lead that Crew SC let slip away.
- Before the game, I tweeted we should bring Mo Saied back with us. I don’t know if he’d make a difference on the field for us or not, but I miss Mo’s positive presence. I did find it amusing that the guy defending him for the majority of the night—Josh Williams–was one of the few Columbus defenders Mo never played with during his time with Crew SC.
- Although our current Mo, Mohammed Abu, had what I thought was a solid game. He flows much better with his teammates than he did earlier in the season.
- Pipa continues a dominant 2017. He played another good game and for that, and his game against Seattle, made MLS Team of the Week
- While Gregg rolled out a different formation, I wish he had also subbed a bit earlier especially in the higher elevation with a lead.
- I will be very disappointed if Meram and Pipa do not get chosen for the MLS All-Star team in some capacity.
Our next game is an Open Cup match against FC Cincinnati on June 14th. I’m not sure what line up Berhalter will roll out as we have a MLS match against Atlanta United three days later. Here’s to a win and all players staying healthy throughout that Open Cup game. (I still miss watching you play Eddie Gaven.)
Featured image courtesy: @ColumbusCrewSC
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