Facing the defending MLS Cup champions in Portland to open the 2016 Major League Soccer Season, the Columbus Crew SC were hoping to get a bit of revenge against the Timbers FC after losing to them at home in the final game of last year’s MLS Cup Playoffs. While Federico Higuain may have scored what will hold up as the greatest goal of the entire season, Columbus left Portland with no points and a 2-1 loss. A week later, they managed the same final score against the Philadelphia Union. Finally, last week, the Crew SC took home their first point after a 0-0 tie in Chicago against the Fire.
While Columbus doesn’t have a game this week, they are looking ahead to FC Dallas. They’ll make the trek from Ohio to Texas during one of DFW’s busiest weekends of the year. The night after FC Dallas hosts Columbus Crew FC, the sports entertainers of the WWE will light up the AT&T Stadium in Arlington for WrestleMania 32. Unlike the action for such characters as The Undertaker or Brock Lesnar, the finish to FC Dallas vs. Columbus Crew SC isn’t scripted. It will be up to Gregg Berhalter and his team to find a way to earn three points as they try to improve upon what ended up being a remarkable 2015 season.
After Portland ended the first half of their season opener with a 1-0 lead over Columbus, Federico Higuain and the Crew came out hot in the second half. Higuain had a beautiful bicycle kick that hit the back of the net to tie the score at 1-1. Just 11 minutes later, however, Portland took the lead again, and Columbus was unable to answer.
The conclusion of their game in Philadelphia wasn’t much better. The Union’s Chris Pontius scored a goal each in the first and second half. While Kei Kamara managed to register a goal for the Crew at the 87th minute, it was too little, too late. The Crew lost their home opener 2-1, the first time Philadelphia ever won a game in Columbus.
RELATED REPORTS BY THE INQUISITR
- MLS: Epic Bicycle Kick Goal Not Enough For Columbus Crew SC To Defeat Portland Timbers
- Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons Owners Want MLS Soccer Expansion Team
- MLS: Columbus Crew SC Draft Four Players, Send One Player To Portland Timbers
- Radamel Falcao Could Be Dropped By Chelsea FC, Wanted By Columbus Crew, Club América
- Columbus Crew: Planning For The Future
When they traveled one state to the West a week later, Steve Clark and the Columbus defense completely shut out the Chicago Fire. Their opponents’ defense pulled off the same feat, however, leaving Higuain, Kamara, and the entire Crew roster without a goal. Even so, the draw finally earned Columbus their first point of the season. Now, they need to put one in the win column.
Columbus will look for their first win of the season as they face FC Dallas, a team that Columbus hasn’t beaten since 2013. Last year, when Dallas came to Columbus, they handed the Crew a 3-0 defeat. The year before that, also in Columbus, the two teams battled to a 0-0 draw. In 2013, the last time the Crew traveled to Dallas, they played the final (official) match of the Lamar Hunt Pioneer Cup series. The Pioneer Cup was an annual contest between the two teams that were owned by the Hunt Sports Group. Since Columbus was sold in 2013, the Cup officially ceased to exist (although the friendly rivalry continues).
The Columbus Crew SC will travel to central Texas to face FC Dallas on Saturday, April 2. Beginning at 9:00 p.m. EST, coverage of FC Dallas vs. Columbus Crew SC will air live on TWC SportsChannel and CW Columbus.
[Image via Jamie Sabau/Getty Images]