clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Anatomy of a Goal: Derrick Etienne’s late equalizer gives the Crew a shot at a winner

This week we look at Derrick Etienne’s first goal from Saturday’s dramatic win against the New York Red Bulls

Ralph Schduel - Massive Report

Welcome to the Anatomy of a Goal, where each week we dissect one goal (or near goal) from a previous Columbus Crew match. For match 32 of the 2022 MLS season, we look at Derrick Etienne’s 89th minute goal that evened the match and set the Crew on track to grab a 2-1 win against New York Red Bulls on Saturday

Here is a look at the goal from Columbus’s winger.

The Black & Gold entered their final home match of the 2022 regular season needing a result to keep their MLS Cup playoff hopes alive. A point would set up a need for at least one win over the remaining two matches on the road, while a win would give Columbus a puncher’s chance of grabbing the fourth seed.

Although the Crew pressured the Red Bulls during the first half, the home team was unable to generate any real threats on goalkeeper Carlos Coronel’s goal. Early in the second half, midfielder Frankie Amaya bounced a screamer past Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room, putting the Black & Gold down a goal and into desperation.

Etienne’s leveler begins with a throw-in deep in Columbus territory with less than three minutes remaining in regular time. Right Steven Moreira quickly plays the ball to center back Milos Degenek.

Degenek receives the ball and turns to find fellow center back Josh Williams on the other side of the field.

Williams lets the New York pressure arrive before playing a quick pass back to Degenek.

Degenek turns with the ball and finds Moreira, pushing the ball back to where it began.

Moreira turns with the ball as John Tolkin sprints toward him to provide pressure. At this point, Moreira can play a long pass to midfielder Darlington Nagbe, try a quick touch pass to midfielder Aidan Morris, hit a long clearance down the field or attempt to carry the ball around Tolkin.

Moreira is boxed in so he quickly plays the ball to Morris.

Morris prepares to receive the ball and realizes that he doesn’t have any Red Bull defenders near him, so he lets the ball run across his body and turns his head to set off toward midfield.

Morris continues his move toward midfield while forward Lewis Morgan dashes in to cut off his attacking move.

Morgan arrives more quickly than Morris anticipated, forcing the midfielder to quickly cut the ball back toward his defense and out of harm’s way.

Morris’ cutback is successful and he carries the ball toward the middle of the center back block.

Between the center backs, Morris plays a quick pass wide to Williams.

Williams carries the ball toward New York’s first defensive block before playing a quick pass up the sideline toward fullback Mohamed Farsi.

Farsi is immediately pressured but is able to find Nagbe with a square pass.

Nagbe protects the ball and plays a pass right back to Williams.

Williams observes New York’s press, or current lack of press, before playing another square pass to Degenek.

With the Red Bulls dropping their defensive pressure toward the midfield, Degenek has time to lift up his head and find an unmarked playmaker Lucas Zelarayan near midfield.

Zelarayan has time and space to carry the ball toward the midfield line. With pressure arriving he finds himself with three options: a long pass forward to Morris, attempt to beat Amaya on the dribble or play a quick pass up the sideline to Moreira.

Amaya arrives and Zelarayan touches the ball forward to Moreira.

Moreira receives the ball with Tolkin bearing down. He can either hit a quick pass back toward Zelarayan, play a long pass over the top to winger Pedro Santos or try a pass up the sidelines toward Morris, who is running into the space vacated by Tolkin.

Moreira uses New York’s aggressive pressure against them by playing a quick pass to Morris in the space that Tolkin just left.

Morris lets the ball run between his legs and turns toward the Red Bull goal.

The young midfielder takes a touch toward defender Andres Reyes before playing a through pass to Santos. On the field, this pass was not flagged for offside, but you can see it is close here. A VAR review deemed that there was no clear and obvious error in the on-field decision that this play was onside.

Santos chases the ball as Columbus’ attack of the New York penalty box develops. Farsi sprints toward the far post, Etienne makes a delayed run toward the top of the 18-yard box and forward Jacen Russell-Rowe cuts toward the near post.

Santos steps toward the ball and must decide what to do with his first touch. He can take a shot on goal from a nearly impossible angle, play a long cross toward Farsi, make a quick, short pass toward Russell-Rowe, find Etienne trailing the play at the top of the penalty box, drop the ball back toward Zelarayan, cut the ball back toward the 18-yard line or play a pass back to Morris.

Santos hits a long cross toward Farsi at the back post.

The ball makes its way to Farsi who has an eye toward goal and on Etienne.

Farsi uses his chest to receive the ball...

...and bumps it toward Etienne.

Etienne lets the ball bounce rather than attempting to take a shot directly off the pass.

The ball bounces across Etienne and lands near his right foot.

The winger tees up a shot and hits a first-touch blast at the goal.

The ball gets by Nealis on its path to the goal.

Coronel is unable to make a play on the shot, leaving one Red Bull between the ball and the back of the net.

He lunges for the ball but is unable to get a touch as Etienne’s shot rolls past him...

...into the back of the net!


  1. The Crew was up against it here but still looked to play the team’s possession game rather than ping long passes forward. This patience resulted in a 15-pass sequence that gave Etienne the opportunity to score the goal that tied the match and sent the Black & Gold on the path toward a dramatic victory.
  2. Morris makes two smart plays when receiving the ball (even if the first nearly resulted in a turnover). Rather than take a touch to collect the ball and then turn toward the attacking half, Morris lets the ball run in front of him.
  3. Farsi’s chest pass to Etienne is excellent. He uses the weight of the cross to redirect the ball toward a teammate in a better position to score rather than trying to do too much by himself.
  4. Etienne does well to let the ball bounce in front of him, sending a defender sliding and giving him the opportunity to let the ball land on his preferred foot for a shot that he was easily able to lash into the corner of the goal.