Columbus Crew head coach Caleb Porter was correct when he said the Black & Gold didn’t have time to relive Saturday night’s game, the defensive mishap and focus on the negatives.
By the time he spoke, only minutes had passed since the Crew lost, 1-0, to Inter Miami CF at DRV PNK Stadium, but Porter made it clear his team could only change the present and its future.
There’s another game coming Tuesday – at Lower.com Field – and an MLS Cup Playoffs spot that needs to be earned. The clock is ticking.
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“There’s a lot of things we can hang our heads on and feel sorry for ourselves about, but I think this is one that our guys need to take the positives of playing a very, very good team – a very talented team – on the road and having the better of it.”
“We don’t have time to be frustrated or have any negativity. We have two days to get ready for a home game against New York (Red Bulls). The results went our way a little bit, and if we win this New York game, we’re right there.”
If not for one preventable error in the 16th minute, when Gonzalo Higuaín intercepted an errant back pass and lofted it past Eloy Room, the Crew would’ve been in a position to earn a positive result against Miami.
Despite controlling 57.9% possession and both outshooting Miami and creating more shots on target, the Crew suffered their eighth loss in nine matches.
“You definitely don’t want to lose to a team that’s right there with us that we’re battling for that spot for,” Darlington Nagbe. “But, in the moment, it is what it is. You’ve got to play, you move on, you look at the positives, it sounds repetitive; it’s what we’ve been preaching. Move on, focus on positives from this game, which in my opinion there are a lot, you know, but we have to win these games to get these points and move up in the table. In my opinion, it’s stuff to build off of and focus on this next game.”
The next game comes quickly for the Crew, who host the New York Red Bulls on Tuesday night at Lower.com Field. When the clubs last met on Aug. 18, the Black & Gold lost, 1-0, but delivered a good performance. And that’s been the theme over the last nine matches, as the Crew have had positive moments that have been overshadowed by mistakes, a lack of execution, and sometimes just bad luck.
“When you’re the champions the previous season, maybe you relax a little but,” Nagbe said. “I think the other team realizes that you’re champions, and they give a little bit more. I think we just need to realize that we were champions last year, but this is a new season. Can we find that? Yes. I believe we have the players, I believe in myself, I believe in my teammates and the coaching staff, so 10 games to go, I know we can do it.”
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