Columbus Crew's New Attack Blossoms in Season Opener

Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sport

The Columbus Crew beat D.C. United 3-0 to open the 2014 MLS season.

The Columbus Crew opened a new era of soccer in central Ohio with a 3-0 road win over Eastern Conference rivals D.C. United.

After an offseason that saw the appointment of a new head coach and the departure of three of he Crew's longest tenured players - Chad Marshall, Eddie Gaven, and Danny O'Rourke - there was a sense that things would be different this season.

Berhalter said he wanted to play an attacking style and that was on display early and often for the Black and Gold. Outside backs Josh Williams and new signing Waylon Francis consistently found their way into the attacking third.

Williams played a big part in the opening goal, receiving a pass from winger Hector Jimenez and delivering a low cross into the United penalty box. Jario Arrieta was on the receiving end and one-timed the ball in the back of the net for the first goal of season for the Crew.

It didn't take long for Columbus to double their lead, as eight minutes later defender and captain Michael Parkhurst was dragged down in the box. The official pointed to the spot and Federico Higauin converted the attempt for his first goal of the 2014 campaign.

The Crew continued to have the better play, controlling the game with better than 57% of the possession.

Their attacking approach paid off yet again in stoppage time. Second half substitute Justin Meram played a low cross and found a trailing Higauin. The Argentinean buried the attempt for his second goal of the season and sealed the win for the Black and Gold.

The Crew exposed a new look D.C. defense that feature MLS veterans Bobby Boswell, Jeff Parke, and Sean Franklin. They also contained U.S. National Team striker Eddie Johnson, who was almost nonexistent at points in the match.

The Black and Gold won their opening game on the road for the second consecutive season after a 3-0 over Chivas USA last season.

Columbus has next week off before the home opener against the Philadelphia Union on March 22. It will be an opportunity for the Black and Gold to start the season 2-0 for the first time in team history.

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