Columbus Crew SC fell behind early but came back and saw out a 3-1 victory against Atlanta United on Saturday, marking the team’s first-ever regular season away victory against The Five Stripes. It was certainly a much-needed morale booster moving forward for the Black & Gold.
Here’s how Columbus fared at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:
Eloy Room (7) - It wasn’t the busiest day for the Crew goalkeeper. Room made three saves on the night and had no chance of stopping the opening goal.
Connor Maloney (6.5) - With respect to Josef Martinez, there wasn’t much that could have been done on his goal. The young defender showed his poise after being unable to keep up and stop the opener with six clearances and three interceptions on the night.
Aboubacar Keita (6) - The Homegrown player had a solid game next to Mensah. Finishing with five clearances and continuing to be there when called upon for a position that’s been crucially weak for Columbus this season.
Jonathan Mensah (7) - The center back was excellent with passing the ball out of the back while protecting Room quite well, finishing with a game-high nine clearances.
Harrison Afful (7.5) - The defender had a solid showing at the right back position. He saw the ball the most out of any Crew player and completed almost 82 percent of his passes.
David Guzman (6) - Starts for Guzman this season have been pretty consistent. With four tackles on the night his play in the middle of the field got the job done with an average of a 77 percent pass accuracy.
Artur (6) - Similar to Guzman, Artur didn’t have his strongest game but stayed consistent. He finished the night with two fouls but helped in building the attack through the middle.
Pedro Santos (6.5) - The winger had an early attempt that almost bended into the top corner of the goal. It was a solid performance that Crew fans have seen time and time again this season. The Portuguese had a few key passes throughout the contest and was substituted late.
Youness Mokhtar (6) - While he was substituted just before the midway point of the second half, the Moroccan international played well enough. Mokhtar is still waiting for a breakout performance but provided some solid minutes on the left flank.
Luis Diaz (8) - One of Caleb Porter’s newest additions continued to make strides on Saturday night. His tidy finish to put the Crew up a goal was absolute class. He’s continuing to showcase his ability to create and score his own goals, a skillset that the Black & Gold have lacked for some time. Interestingly enough, all three goals came from plays that Diaz created.
Gyasi Zardes (8) - Zardes tied the game at one after a shot by Diaz and subsequent save from Brad Guzan put the ball at the foot of the forward for a wide-open goal. This was his 12th finish on the season, in addition to a solid passing performance.
Romario Williams (N/A) - The forward had a late cameo for Gyasi Zardes.
(S) Wil Trapp (N/A) - The club captain came on in garbage time for Santos to see the game out.
(S) Luis Argudo (6) - He came on for Mokhtar midway through the second half after an average performance. Argudo didn’t do much except from providing some pace on the wing.
Caleb Porter (8) - It was a result that Porter may not have planned for, but certainly deserved. The Black & Gold fell a goal behind, made halftime adjustments and played much more lively in the second 45 minutes. Despite being out-possessed, Porter allowed for his team to attack and take chances on the counter attack. It more than paid off after such a relieving victory.