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Crew drop second straight at MAPFRE Stadium, fall 2-0 to Orlando City

Another tough night at home for the Black & Gold.

See what head coach Caleb Porter thought of Columbus Crew SC’s loss to Orlando City Soccer Club.

Posted by Massive Report on Saturday, June 29, 2019

On a night when Columbus Crew SC honored the late Sigi Schmid, the Black & Gold could not muster up the magic of the only Crew head coach to ever win a championship for the club.

The Black & Gold conceded goals in each half and failed to score for the second straight match, falling to visiting Orlando City 2-0.

It was a slow start for both teams on a hot night at MAPFRE Stadium. The Crew looked to find rookie forward JJ Williams, who made his first professional start in the match, in the penalty area in the opening minutes and came close to connecting a few times but Orlando defended balls into the penalty box well.

City began to settle into the contest after the first 10 minutes and had the best chance of the opening half an hour thanks to a mistake at the back from the Black & Gold. On a bouncing ball near Columbus’ penalty area, center back Gaston Sauro attempted to head the ball back to John Kempin. The goalkeeper was already off his line and the pass went over his head and narrowly avoided the back of the net.

Two minutes later and the Crew had an opportunity to open the scoring. A through ball into the penalty box was intended for winger Luis Argudo, but Robinho got there first and fired a shot from a tight angle. OCSC goalkeeper Brian Rowe stood strong and deflected the ball behind for a corner kick.

In the 37th minute, Argudo was part of another decent chance for the Black & Gold, this time crossing to the back post for Robinho. The Brazilian’s first touch let him down and the ball went behind for a goal kick.

Robinho had another chance two minutes later, this time with an acrobatic effort. Pedro Santos floated a ball into the penalty box which the winger attempted to shoot with an overhead effort. His hit was on goal but right at Rowe.

Just four minutes before halftime, Orlando found the goal the away side was looking for. Danilo Acosta played a ball into Nani’s feet at the top of the 18-yard box. The Portuguese star executed a perfect flick to an open Chris Mueller who took a good setup touch before slotting a shot by Kempin for the 1-0 lead.

In first half stoppage time, the Crew had its best chance of the half for a goal. A free kick from Santos was flicked by Williams but hit off Columbus defender Alex Crognale and Orlando defender Robin Jansson and remained out of the net.

After ending the first half with a flurry of chances, the Black & Gold started the second 45 minutes brightly. On the second of back-to-back corner kicks, Williams popped the ball off his chest to Robinho in the 18-yard box. The winger again attempted an acrobatic effort that forced Rowe into a diving save.

Just past the hour mark, OCSC found the second goal of the night, and again it was thanks to a lack of effort defensively. Orlando forward Tesho Akindele received the ball 25 yards from goal and had time to turn and pick up his head before curling a ball by Kempin and into the goal.

After finding the second goal, City was more than content to sit back and take the air out of the game and did that with ease. Columbus created little over the final 26 minutes, falling for the 11th time this season and fifth time at MAPFRE Stadium.

Conceding first equals a loss

For the 12th time this season, the Crew allowed first goal with Chris Mueller’s finish in the 41st minute. After Saturday’s result, the Black & Gold are 0-11-1 when conceding first. Head coach Caleb Porter made it clear that getting the first goal is crucial for this team, especially with a less than optimal lineup available. Columbus was unable to do it again and it resulted in a 10th loss in the last 12 matches.

Defensive head scratchers

Last season, the Crew struggled to score goals, finding the back of the net just 43 times. But solid defensive play kept the Black & Gold in the playoff hunt. After starting this year with good defensive play, four shutouts in the first six matches, Columbus has been a mess at the back.

This was the case again against Orlando, who scored both goals on their first two shots. And it wasn’t as if these were wonder goals, but both were allowed due to players not doing their job or being out of position. If there’s any chance of the Crew turning things around over the final 16 games of the MLS season, it will have to start with an improved defense.

What’s next

The Crew will have to get over yet another loss quickly. The Black & Gold have a quick turnaround, heading to Real Salt Like for a July 3 contest. That game will kick off at 10 p.m. ET.