A consolation goal from Pedro Santos in second-half stoppage time was the high point for the Columbus Crew after a forgettable 4-1 loss against New York City FC on Friday night in Yankee Stadium.
Following the match, head coach Caleb Porter didn’t mince words as he said everyone needed to be held accountable for the result, which snapped the Crew’s unbeaten run at six games.
“Not a performance across the board,” Porter said. “Disappointing. It’s not a couple players, it’s the entire team, the coaches; it’s everyone. It’s a game where we didn’t really do much well, and it’s disappointing. It’s embarrassing in some ways.
“But here’s what I’ll tell you. Having been in this league long enough to understand, these games happen, and we don’t accept it. We take accountability for it and responsibility for it. It starts with me. But we didn’t become a bad team in one game. It was one of those days where we just didn’t play well. We’re not going to make excuses for it, we’ll take it on the chin, we accept it, and we need to learn from it, and we need to put it behind us.”
Purchase Campeones Cup Tickets vs. Cruz Azul on September 29 at Lower.com Field
It's a winner-takes-all CLASH OF CHAMPIONS at Lower.com Field on September 29!
The match wasn’t absent of Crew positives, though. For Santos, he recorded his first goal of the 2021 season when he buried his 97th-minute penalty. The Portuguese winger, who’s filled in at left-back with Milton Valenzuela unavailable, also played behind a glimpse of what can become the Crew’s full-strength frontline.
Gyasi Zardes is still away with the United States Men’s National Team in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, but Luis Díaz, Derrick Etienne Jr., Liam Fraser and Kevin Molino were all back and played following stints in the Gold Cup. Molino played his first full match for the Black & Gold, while Marlon Hairston also completed a full 90.
With players inching closer to full availability, Etienne Jr. said the Crew views Friday night’s match as a minor setback instead of a worrying sign.
“We understand we’re a good team, we have a bunch of good players,” the winger said. “Sometimes these games happen. You don’t want them to happen but the best thing about this loss is the fact that we have a game on Wednesday. It’s a quick turnaround, we will watch film, see what we need to fix but we know we can also move on and get ready for the home game on Wednesday.”
The Crew will return to Lower.com Field on Wednesday night when they host D.C. United, who they beat, 3-1, for the first home win in league play earlier this year.