The Columbus Crew took a tough loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-0 on Saturday night. Fatigue was certainly a factor as the Crew finished a span of three games in seven days.
Columbus was not one to make excuses for the recent slide, knowing that the best is yet to come.
“I’m not going to make excuses,” Crew defender Josh Williams stated. “That is the way the schedule came out. We have to be mentally tougher. It is ‘man up’ time right now. We have to look each other in the eye and look at ourselves in the mirror.”
Erik Hurtado, our Subside Sports Man of the Match, literally had the game of his life as he replaced Jamaican speedster Darren Mattocks in the Whitecaps FC lineup. He pestered the Crew defense all night long, which was surprising considering he had just three assists in 21 career MLS appearances. Hurtado’s goal in the 37th minute was the difference in the match.
All was not lost for the Crew as several players had solid performances.
Striker Jairo Arrieta was certainly improved in the attack, coming up with several opportunities throughout the match. Keeper Steve Clark was on his game, making a number of highlight reel-worthy saves, putting on a first-class show as expected.
The Whitecaps were just a step ahead of Columbus, putting up a ridiculous number of shots, not surprising as they were second in the league coming into tonight’s matchup. Vancouver took 12 shots in the first half alone. The visitors simply had more attempts and therefore, more scoring chances.
They took advantage of a tired Crew lineup, something Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter took responsibility for, noting he could have brought in some fresh legs.
“In one way, I’m disappointed but the other way, the guys gave it everything they had and unfortunately that wasn’t enough today. If I’m critical of anything, it’s my team selection, not rotating more guys and getting some fresh legs in there because to me that was clearly the difference.”
The Crew now turn their attention to rest and recovery and then a road match with Caleb Porter’s Portland Timbers next week.