As is the common phrase, all good things must come to an end. That is what happened Sunday afternoon to Columbus Crew 2. The Black & Gold reserve team lost 4-0 loss to Rochester New York FC at Historic Crew Stadium, snapping a seven-game winning streak that dates back to the opening contest of the MLS NEXT Pro season.
Sunday’s contest felt like a game where Columbus just could not get things going. Crew 2 had previously been stout defensively, only conceding five goals leading up to this contest. But that record was almost matched by Rochester. The Black & Gold also played without leading scorer Jacen Russell-Rowe, who was sent on loan to the first team for Saturday’s game at Atlanta United, meaning the offense was not as fluid as it has been.
It did not take long for the New York side to get a good look at goal, forcing Crew 2 goalkeeper Patrick Schulte into a good save.
The opening 10 minutes of the match were heavily tilted toward the visitors. Rochester held most of the possession and had the best looks on goal through this early period. Rochester’s press proved to be a major problem for the hosts, as the Blacl & Gold could not consistently find a way to move the ball up the field.
Crew 2 got its first sight at goal when midfield captain Marco Micaletto had his shot easily saved by the Rochester goalkeeper. RNYFC took the lead in the 23rd minute, as Gibran Rayo got the first of his two goals after a mistake at the back by defender Phillip Quinton.
After Rochester went on top, it seemed that Crew 2 would find an equalizer rather quickly. Fullback Mohamed Farsi played an excellent ball into the penalty box from the right side, but it was just past the outstretched leg of forward Noah Fuson.
The Black & Gold continued to be on the front foot throughout the rest of the first half, but could not find an equalizer before halftime.
A couple of minutes into the second half, Columbus again called on Schulte. The rookie goalkeeper made a wonderful point-blank save, denying Rochester a second goal of the match.
It didn’t take long, however, for the visitors to double their advantage, as in the 62nd minute, Rochester’s Ian Garrett tucked the ball into the far corner of the goal.
The game went downhill from there for Columbus, as Rochester tacked on two more goals to finish the match as Crew 2 pushed forward to try and get something from the game.
“I don’t want them to shake things off. I want them to feel the pain”, Crew 2 head coach Laurent Courtois said following the game. “I was surprised on the lack of intensity.”
Turnovers were the major issue for the Black & Gold, who fell for the just the second time this season. Columbus turned the ball over more than normal and that allowed Rochester to capitalize on the mistakes.
Crew 2 will look to start another win streak when the team goes on the road to face Chicago Fire II next weekend at SeatGeek Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. All MLS Next Pro matches can be streamed live at mlsnextpro.com.