Crew Coverage

Crew Coverage pres. by Medical Mutual | Nancy: Win at Orlando ‘good exercise’

The reigning champions are playing like the reigning champions again.

On Saturday night, the Columbus Crew beat Orlando City SC, 2-0, at INTER&Co Stadium to win a third-straight road match for the first time since 2015.

But beyond earning nine points from a possible nine, the win Saturday night was the perfect tune-up ahead of next week’s Concacaf Champions Cup Final against Liga MX side CF Pachuca.

“It was a good exercise for the players obviously when we come here – the weather, the opposition and everything,” head coach Wilfried Nancy said after the game. “Again, it was good for the players to see that. It was good for the players to recognize when we have to adjust when we attack or to defend.”

“As you know, Pachuca is going to be something different because the ball is going to fly and the ball was not flying today. The attitude, and there are many things that are going to be different. Yes, let’s rest and prepare with the week, enjoy this week and be ready for this game.”

Diego Rossi earned his first brace as a Crew player on Saturday thanks to goals in both halves.

In first-half stoppage time, the Uruguayan coolly slotted a penalty past Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.

Later in the 61st minute, he chipped the ball over Gallese to cap off a lethal Crew counter attack. Within Columbus territory, Aidan Morris sprayed a through ball toward a sprinting Yaw Yeboah, who then found Rossi inside the box.

Rossi is now the first Crew player to score in three-straight road matches since Gyasi Zardes, and he has seven goals across all competitions in 2024.

“He scored goals, and good for him, good for the team,” Nancy said of Rossi. “Like I told you when you asked me the question when he was not scoring, I told you that this is a cycle. Now the PK, in the beginning of the year when he was not confident, I would say because he missed a few chances, he missed the PK; but now he's feeling good. He feels good. That's why it's logical that he scored the PK. I would challenge him because I know that he can do better.”

With the win Saturday night, the Black & Gold now sit fourth in the Eastern Conference standings with 24 points from 14 games played.

Up next is Saturday night’s continental clash in Mexico, when the Crew hope to win the Concacaf Champions Cup for the first time in the club’s 29-year history. The Crew are also hoping to be just the second team from Major League Soccer to take home the continent’s top trophy.

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