When the final whistle chirped Saturday night and the Columbus Crew lost, 1-2, to Inter Miami CF, it was a frustrating end to a frustrating game at Lower.com Field. But head coach Wilfried Nancy said it was a learning experience for the next time the Black & Gold face a similar situation: a visiting team bunkering around its goal after scoring against the run of play.
“Yeah, because we know that we're going to face this kind of opposition, and again, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this is bad, this is good,” Nancy said. “But (Miami), they defend, they defend and defend, and I am a bit frustrated because yeah, we rush.
“I can understand that we rushed the last ten minutes, but we rushed, we rushed, instead of trying to create overload, try to create superiority, numerical superiority. But yeah, this is something that I don't like also, because I didn't help my team the way I wanted to do it. So yeah, I am not happy with myself also.”
After the Crew conceded a goal to Leonardo Campana seven minutes into the match, the Black & Gold rallied and responded three minutes later.
Cucho Hernández, who made his first league appearance since March 11, produced a stunning golazo to the back post to equalize the match and produce his first goal of 2023.
Campana scored his second in the 41st minute from a set piece, and from there, Nancy said his team rushed trying to score rather than playing patiently, and the Crew lost some of its attacking creativity that’s been showcased in previous games.
“For 55 minutes, we were rushing and we have time,” the coach said. “We have time to be more calm, to attack the box a little bit better. And we did not attack the box in a good way. Again, it was not easy. Don't get me wrong, because there are bodies, but usually we are better on that, and there was too much rushing and put the ball on the side and in 1v1's.”
Nine matches into the regular season, the Crew players and coaches can now reset and refocus with the club’s next match not scheduled until May 10 – a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup fourth round matchup with Loudoun United FC in the USL Championship. If Columbus advances, then the schedule will be congested – a good problem to have.
“This is the physical point but also the mental point. We need to rest,” Nancy said. “The players have done a really good job in terms of trying to apply what we want, and they do it well. Now, it is all about freshness. Again, we're going to go back, we're going to play the U.S. Open Cup. The idea, we know that we are going have potentially 10 games in four weeks, and it is going to be extremely, extremely heavy.
“That's why we need everyone healthy to be able to help us. We knew that before. This is why also we enjoy this kind of situation because we are going to have many games to do what we usually do. Again, this is not because we lost that I am disappointed; I am disappointed because I had the feeling that we could have played and played and played, so this is something that we are going to adjust, but again, the opposition gave us also trouble the way they defended.”
Including last week’s U.S. Open Cup win against Indy Eleven, the Crew has played 10 matches since the regular season kicked off in late February. With the possibility of playing that many matches in four weeks, a mental and physical rest could pay dividends in the future.
2023 Single-Match Tickets
Purchase tickets to a match and join us for a world-class experience at Lower.com Field.