Columbus Crew SC wrapped up its Western Conference home stand against Los Angeles Football Club, bowing out by a score of 3-0. After hosting the LA Galaxy on Wednesday, Columbus welcomed first-place LAFC to MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday night.
For LAFC, they now have 15 first-half goals on the season which leads all of Major League Soccer. The team maintains its top spot in the league and are first in the hunt for the MLS Supporters’ Shield with a record of 8-3-1. Columbus, with the team’s seventh loss in eight games, fall to 5-7-1 on the season.
Here is how each player performed in Saturday’s showdown:
Joe Bendik (6) – The keeper was a late addition to Caleb Porter’s starting 11 as it was announced prior to the match that usual starting goalkeeper, Zack Steffen, was out to care for a lower leg injury. Unfortunately for Bendik, both of his starts have resulted in 3-0 defeats. The keeper made five saves and wasn’t necessarily at fault for any of the three goals.
Hector Jimenez (6) – Jimenez made some important clearances throughout the match. He was tasked with keeping LAFC’s Carlos Vela in check, which was a success until the waning minutes of the game. It was unfortunate for him that Vela was able to glide past him for a late goal.
Jonathan Mensah (5) – Jonathan had no chance to get in front of the Mark-Anthony Kaye goal for Los Angeles, although he was directly at fault for the second goal: a questionable close-range header which was put over Bendik and allowed for an easy tap in for LAFC. This was a night that the Ghanaian international will hope to forget soon.
Gaston Sauro (5) – The center back allowed Kaye to slip through the backline for the opening goal. Both he and Jonathan’s energy was poor down the stretch and both were overrun by the visitor’s attack. A week’s rest should help the center back pairing find their footing for the upcoming two-game road stand.
Josh Williams (7) – One of the best players on the pitch, Josh Williams was an addition to the squad late, just like Bednik. The Akron native covered for the injured Waylon Francis at right back and had a solid performance, as LAFC weren’t able to create virtually anything down his flank. Crew fans should expect to see more of Williams at right back in the coming weeks.
Artur (6) - The central midfielder got substituted for Federico Higuain to begin the second half. The Brazilian had a night to forget while he didn’t do anything inspiring.
Wil Trapp © (8) – Trapp was arguably the best player for the Crew on the night. He was relentless in midfield and worked hard to ensure Columbus kept up in the possession battle. Trapp completed 90.2 percent of his passes, which was the best accuracy on the night (min. 10 passes).
Pedro Santos (6) – The Portuguese international had the best chance for the Black & Gold, a 58th-minute shot that went right in the hands of LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller. Miller made his only save of the night from this attempt. Had Santos leveled the score at 1-1, we could have seen a very different outcome.
David Guzman (6) – In his first start for the Black & Gold, Guzman played alongside Artur and Trapp in a 4-3-3 formation to start. While he didn’t stand out tonight, he did go box-to-box for the Crew and enjoyed being on the ball, completing 82.7 percent of his passes.
Robinho (6) – The Brazilian gave a helping hand to Jimenez to keep Vela quiet. He was crucial in a few early second half runs that unfortunately did not lead to Columbus goals. Accam replaced him in the second half to make his debut for the Crew.
Gyasi Zardes (6) – The forward didn’t do much despite the first half formation change. Zardes saw too little of the ball to make an impact and didn’t have many quality chances. He couldn’t convert a quality cross from Robinho in the first half and almost equalized for Columbus in the 75th minute but was flagged for being offside.
Federico Higuain (7) – The Crew’s midfield maestro replaced Artur to begin the second half. The veteran had one of his classic performances, although he was not able to bring the Black & Gold back into the contest. He made an immediate impact and set up some wonderful chances after being subbed on.
David Accam (7) – In hi debut, Accam came on for the Black & Gold in the 65th minute for Robinho. He showed good promise by making some good runs late in the game. His one shot from seven yards out resulted in a block.
Caleb Porter (6) – In Porter’s defense this was not a 3-0 game. Columbus actually performed very well in the first half, but it wasn’t until the final few moments of the game where the wheels absolutely fell off for Porter’s side. However, trying a new formation including Guzman with the decision of resting Higuain is why Porter deserves some credit. He got it right, but there was nothing stopping this side from fatigue. A third game in eight days versus the a well-rested LAFC side was never a recipe for success.