Massive Report’s countdown of the 15 most memorable moments in Crew Stadium history based on voting from the staff continues. Join the discussion on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #MRStadium.
There are comebacks and then there are epic comebacks, ones that will be forever remembered for one reason or another. On July 21, 2018, the Columbus Crew pulled off a remarkable come-from-behind 3-2 win over Orlando City. The winning goal, arguably the greatest in Crew Stadium and club history, was scored by none other than the Black & Gold’s Hometown captain, Wil Trapp.
The 2018 season was a difficult one for Crew fans, with the threat of imminent relocation casting a long shadow over the club. While Save The Crew offered an outlet for hope and change, a sense of dread and frustration persisted, and it seemed to be taking a hold on the field as well. After going on a nine-game unbeaten run from late April to early June, the Crew lost four of its next five games and was outscored 11-2 over that period. Columbus was desperate for points and goals as the team returned home from a two-game road trip to face Orlando.
It was a wet and humid night in Columbus and the game was delayed 45 minutes due to weather conditions. The Crew was on the back foot almost immediately, facing a shot from OCSC in the first minute that bounced off the post and going behind in the 16th minute off of a scuffed shot from Sacha Kljestan. The game was shaping up to be a very typical 2018 contest for the Black & Gold, with plenty of shots, crosses and corners recorded, but nothing to show for it.
Forward Gyasi Zardes got Columbus back in the game with a shot that went in off the post in the 51st minute, but Orlando responded only a few minutes later to regain the lead. The Crew dominated possession the rest of the half and continued to create chances, but nothing was going in the back of the net.
The team was given a lifeline in the 86th minute when a controversial penalty was awarded after Black & Gold striker Patrick Mullins fell to the ground going for a cross alongside Orlando defender RJ Allen. Zardes stepped up and slipped the ball past goalkeeper Joe Bendik to tie the game 2-2 in the 88th minute.
With little time left, fans across the stadium, particularly in the Nordecke, screamed at every Crew player to just shoot if they had possession, no matter where they were on the field. Trapp obliged and fired a rocket from almost 40 yards out. The ball flew above every player in the penalty box, past Bendik and into the back of the net.
The stadium erupted and any fan that wasn’t already standing was quickly on his or her feet screaming. Trapp ran across the field to celebrate with goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who sprinted from his goal to meet him. The rest of the team soon followed to celebrate and pile on the match-winning hero. It was only Trapp’s second career goal and his first at Crew Stadium (at least with the Columbus Crew).
The referee blew his whistle a few minutes later and the team and fans celebrated an improbable victory. Trapp ran over and joined the Nordecke to enjoy the moment of bliss.
Any player on the team could have taken a shot, or scored a goal from distance, or won a game at the last minute. But only Trapp, a native son who grew up watching the Crew, played for the team’s Academy and rose up to become the club’s first-ever Hometown captain could have produced such a meaningful moment in historic Crew Stadium. In a year where no one was certain what would come next for the club, Trapp’s stunning goal was the on-field embodiment of the grit, heart and determination that defined the attitudes of fans and players pushing to save the Crew.
Trapp delivered a moment that will long live in the memories of Crew fans and club lore; a defining on-field miracle in the year Columbus proved that miracles were indeed still possible.
Read Massive Report’s previous Crew Stadium Moments