Crew Coverage

Crew Coverage pres. by Medical Mutual | Nancy: ‘Really good performance’ in win over Montréal

Following Saturday night’s setback, Columbus Crew players stood in their locker room and said they needed to elevate their performances and showcase why they’re the reigning league champions.

Wednesday night was step one of reiterating that, as the Black & Gold snapped a seven-game MLS winless run with a comfortable 3-1 win at CF Montréal.

“After the game against Cincinnati, we discussed about a specific topic,” head coach Wilfried Nancy said after the game. “For me, [that] was a weird game, and I explained the situation. My players today were good in this topic.

“That's why we were able to score goals. That's why we were able to control the game. That's why we had a really good performance, and all the players scored the goal that we scored. That's why for me, I congratulate them because this is exactly something that I wanted to see. I think that was affected because they were able to apply it. I'm pleased for that. I'm really pleased for that.”

Max Arfsten started the scoring with his second goal in as many games. This time, it was to put his side in front. In the 19th minute, the Crew produced a strong attack that forced a point-blank save from Jonathan Sirois. The rebound fell to Arfsten, who smashed the ball into the net.

The home side then equalized with a late first-half penalty, but Diego Rossi put the Crew back in front in the 59th minute with his first MLS goal of 2024. The Crew produced a vicious counter attack that Steven Moreira led into Montréal territory. Approaching the box, the defender played the ball wide to Christian Ramirez, who hit a cross back into the box for Rossi to tap in.

Marino Hinestroza sealed the three points in the 89th minute through a third beautiful attacking sequence that led to a goal. Again, Moreira was involved in the action, as he barreled in on goal before finding the Colombian, who tucked the ball toward the bottom-right corner for a second league goal.

The clincher also allowed Nancy to give Cole Mrowka his MLS debut, as he was a late substitute. At 18 years and 39 days, Mrowka became the 16th Homegrown Player in team history to make an MLS regular season appearance. Mrowka is the second-youngest Crew player to make his MLS debut (Danny Szetela, 17 years and 61 days) and the fifth to do so before the age of 19.

“It was just to give him minutes because he deserves it,” Nancy said. “He's been training really well with Taha (Habroune). For me, it was the moment to give him the possibility to have his first minutes to tell him that I'm happy about his spirit and the way he improved.”

Columbus will be hoping momentum continues Saturday night when the Black & Gold face rival Chicago Fire FC at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Crew won, 2-1, when the clubs met in March.

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