Crew, Dynamo Draw in Eastern Showdown

Frustrating night full of missed opportunities for Crew
by Al DiFranco   |   Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Labor Strike – column on Columbus Crew & the Columbus, Ohio soccer scene.

Usually, a 1-1 draw against the defending Eastern Conference Champions wouldn’t be all that disappointing for the Columbus Crew.

On this night, however, the Crew were left with a bad taste in their mouth. The home squad very easily could have had 3 or 4 goals if not for some bad bounces and untimely stumbles which cost them full points against the visiting Houston Dynamo.

The Dynamo got on the board first, as Warren Creavalle scored in the 31st minute. The Crew went into the locker room at halftime feeling cheated after Jairo Arrieta had hit the post once and been denied by Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall on another opportunity.

Federico Higuain’s penalty kick in the 69th minute snapped a home goalless streak of 294 minutes for the Crew and knotted the match up at 1-1. Five minutes later, Higuain hit the post with a beautiful bender, and the ricochet came right to Justin Meram with a wide open goal in front of him. Unfortunately, Meram missed the rebound over the bar and the match remained tied.

“We were good enough to win the game,” said Crew manager Robert Warzycha. “We created chances. … I think it was one-way traffic, but unfortunately we couldn’t put anything in the back of the net. Their goalie made valuable saves.”

Statistically, the Crew dominated attempts on goal (22-12), and led in most other categories, including corners (8-6) and possession (52%-48%). The home squad just could not capitalize on a handful of golden opportunities.

This was the Crew’s first match without Eddie Gaven, the vital cog in the Crew’s midfield who suffered a season-ending torn ACL in Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup match.

Gaven will be sorely missed, but Dominic Oduro played well in his return to the midfield, a move that allowed Higuain, Arrieta and Meram to team up top and create more quality scoring chances for the Crew in weeks. The Higuain-Arrieta-Meram front line should be formidable, especially with the talented Oduro providing a speed threat behind them.

The Crew (4-4-5, 17 points) now sit in 7th place in the East. The Dynamo (6-4-4, 22 points) are 4 spots above Columbus and are in playoff contention. A busy June for the black and gold continues Wednesday night, as the Crew travel to Philadelphia to take on the Union. The Union (5-5-4, 19 points) currently hold the 5th and final playoff spot in the East, so this is an important match in the early season playoff race.

NEXT UP: June 5 – Philadelphia Union vs. Columbus Crew, PPL Park, Chester, Pa. 7:30 p.m. EDT, MLS Live, Univision.

Al DIFRANCO

Nationality:
USA
College:
Ohio State
Club Domestic:
Columbus Crew
Club Foreign:
AC Milan, Everton
Passionate fan of the USMNT, Al is a member of the Cleveland Chapter of the American Outlaws. He also loves to follow and discuss Premier League and Serie A. Named his daughter Mia after a certain soccer legend.
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