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What We Learned: Crew vs New England

A few things that we took away from the 1-0 win over the Revolution.

Federico Higuain gets his 61st assist, tying club leader Robert Warzycha
Columbus Crew SC on Twitter

In their second and final meeting of the season, Columbus Crew SC defeated the New England Revolution. Defender Josh Williams was the difference maker with his goal in the win. With that goal, two defenders have equaled the three goals scored by forward Gyasi Zardes.

Josh Williams can score too

It’s not common to see defenders score, nor score on a set piece. But this Crew team has had defenders score on set pieces multiple times. With Gaston Sauro having two goals on the season, Williams decided to join the party as he replaced Sauro for the second straight week.

“Always feels good. To get a goal in front of the home fans and the game winner,” said Williams after the game.

But there’s just something about headers and defenders that just make for a great story.

Take this goal for example.

Are we sure that Williams isn’t Sauro in disguise? A near-post run on a set piece that gets headed back to the far post for a goal.

Higuain can still dish the ball

Heading into this match, Federico Higuain had 60 assists to his name, only needing two more to become the Crew’s franchise leader in assists. Club legend Robert Warzycha currently holds that position with 61. Higuain tied the record with his assist on the Williams goal.

“He’s got so much quality,” head coach Caleb Porter said of Higuain. “He had his tail up. The [pass] he played in behind Pedro [Santos], that was one of the best final balls I’ve ever seen. That’s a world class ball.”

“He’s got many more years left to play on my team. I’m not letting him go.”

Zack Steffen can’t be beat

The soon-to-be Manchester City goalkeeper continues his shutout streak, now sitting at 444 minutes of not allowing a goal. He came up big for Columbus, making several key saves, including stopping a rocket of a shot from Jalil Anibaba in the 11th minute.

“I’ve never seen a good team that’s not good defensively. Especially championship teams, they are always good defensively,” Porter said on Steffen and the immaculate defending from the back four.

Chippy match sets franchise record for fouls

Columbus and New England already met once this season. That match saw Columbus foul 13 times in their 2-0 win at Gillette Stadium. On Saturday, against the same opponent, Columbus broke the record for fouls.

“We wanna play and keep the ball. They want to go direct,” said Porter. “I thought Brad (Freidel) and his staff did an excellent job; They were up for it mentally and they gave us some problems by pressing us.”

Most notably, Higuain went down hard in the center circle after Revolution defender Michael Mancienne went in late on a challenge, earning him his second caution turning it into a subsequent red card ejection.

Did anything else stand out to you about the Crew’s fourth win of the season?