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What We Learned: Crew vs Los Angeles FC

Here are some things that we learned from the Black & Gold’s 3-0 loss.

Mark-Anthony Kaye celebrates his opening goal against Columbus Crew SC with his teammates.
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Another home game for Columbus Crew SC saw many different things happen from lineup changes, to unsuspected injuries. In this piece, we pick apart a few things that we learned from the 3-0 loss against Los Angeles Football Club.

Depth faced a test...

It came as a surprise that not many knew about. When the team sheet was handed out and the club’s official Twitter account posted the starting lineup for Crew SC, there were two names left off, those being starting goalkeeper Zack Steffen and left back Waylon Francis.

Steffen emerged from the player tunnel in a walking boot, which many speculate he may have suffered a small sprain during their 3-1 midweek victory against the LA Galaxy. Head coach Caleb Porter confirmed that Steffen had a swollen foot that was bruised, possibly from the midweek match against the Galaxy.

As for Francis, Porter said Francis came down with a muscle strain and is possibly out 2-3 weeks, possibly more.

The Crew can change formation

It’s very rare to see Columbus change up formations. A team notoriously known for playing a 4-2-3-1 came out in a 4-3-3 formation against LAFC. It was also worth noting that David Guzman made his first start for the club, while Federico Higuain was named to the bench along with fellow new addition David Accam. Josh Williams, a center back, played in the right back position for the first time in some time.

The thought process going through this was Porter knew Higuain couldn’t start for the third time in a week.

“We planned to keep the game tight in the first half, go 4-3-3. They play very narrow and I think it worked,” said Porter.

He also mentioned that he may try out a 3-5-2 formation the team used some in the preseason. With as many injuries at the outside back role as there is now, there’s probably more than a zero chance of that happening.

Crew lose composure, get dismantled at home

It’s never easy to beat the best team in the league. Let alone, it’s never pretty to lose your composure and let the game get out of hand.

In the first half alone, the two teams combined for 15 fouls, with three yellow cards being handed out. There was Joe Bendik getting the ball kicked out of his hand, to Artur laying a football hit down on an opponent.

Fouls like these are what not only make you lose your composure, but they also get taken advantage of and make you get embarrassed on your home field.

Captain Wil Trapp spoke on that looking forward to next week saying, “I think we’re gonna be a little more recovered so we’ll be able to control the strength of our legs. It’s just a moment of understanding where we’re at and having to truly buckle down and pass the ball and move the ball and be there for each other.”

Columbus is back on the road to take on Minnesota United Saturday, May 18.