Crew Coverage

Crew Coverage pres. by Medical Mutual | Nancy: Crew ‘don’t take anything for granted’

After dispatching Toronto FC, 4-0, Columbus Crew head coach Wilfried Nancy sat in the bowels of Field and said he and his players don’t take anything for granted.

Crew supporters shouldn’t, either.

Including Saturday night’s Trillium Cup win against Toronto, the Crew have won four-straight matches and have 39 points through 20 games – the most in Club history during that span.

“[I’m proudest of] the fact that we don’t take anything for granted,” Nancy said after the win. “That's why we were able to attack well and to defend well. This is something that I like because we are able to show that we are confident but also that we are humble enough to accept that we have to go again to score goals and to defend well. This is the spirit that I really like.

“That's why at 4-0 – I don't mind about the score – I was still behind them because like I told you, I don't like expectations. I don't expect anything from anybody. We have standards. We lost a few balls at the end, and I think that we could have done better. This is the standard that I want to put with my staff and with the Club that we compete with ourselves. They did it well. They did it well the last few games.”

Saturday night was a continuation of the Black & Gold’s standard performance in recent weeks, as the team has now outscored opponents, 15-1, during this four-game winning streak.

Cucho Hernández got the party started at the quarter-hour mark with a clever back-post header from a Diego Rossi corner. Cucho now has a team-leading 11 league goals this season and 13 across all competitions.

Christian Ramirez then scored the first of the Crew’s three second-half goals in the 51st minute when he turned and delivered a low-driven shot from a Max Arfsten cross.

Mohamed Farsi got in on the scoring fun, too, when he scored the Crew’s first of two goals in a four-minute span.

In a sequence that cut from the left flank to the right, the 81st-minute goal embodied Columbus dominating the match. After playing through Toronto territory, Ramirez sent a cross toward the back post to Rossi, who set up Farsi to score his third goal of the season.

The final one arrived in the 85th minute by way of a swift counter and the visitors struggling to clear the ball, as Rossi scored his seventh of the season – and now has a career-best 10 assists.

“The fact that we are humble enough to accept that we have to improve all the time, the consequence of that is we are able to do something new and to improve all the time,” Nancy said of his attacking players. “Again, this desire to get better and better and better depending what the opposition is going to give us.

“Tonight, again, in terms of tactical flexibility, they were really good. My team was really good because we played, we started in a certain way and we adjusted a few times because we want to attack different spaces. Again, they played naturally. I'm really proud of that because I challenge them more and more and more.”

The challenge seems to be working. With the win, the Crew are third in the Eastern Conference with 39 points from 20 matches.

Up next is a 2023 MLS Cup Final rematch – but out west. On Satuday night, the reigning champs face LAFC at BMO Stadium. Kickoff is set for 10:30 p.m. ET.

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