Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Rd. 4: International Break Broken

Crew SC finished off the Portland Timbers last weekend 3-2 in Columbus. The win is their second in a row and puts them one step away from finally getting a third. Something they haven't done since 2014.

The game was just one of three over the weekend, as MLS trimmed the schedule to make way for World Cup Qualifiers. What this means is that it is a random "Broken Game." While it's important for the teams that participated, the actual result might as well been decided by a role of the dice as both sides were missing key folks (more notably Portland with Darlington Nagbe out with USMNT duties).

Despite these things, the gears of the PR and hype machine continued turning. The lead has players and coaches on a high.

"The idea was to send a message,” Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter said after the match. “Send a message that we're a good team, that we can hurt teams.”

Justin Meram, de facto team captain, echoed Berhalter's feelings, saying: “To [Portland] or to the league, to everybody, this is a team with a lot of quality,” Meram said. “We’re going to compete with the best of them.”

Columbus can compete with anyone. Confidence is good but this game vs. Portland isn't an indication of much. Crew SC were at home and facing a team without a couple of their best players.

Columbus looks for that elusive third win in a row this weekend vs. Orlando.

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