Columbus Crew

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MLS Snapshot: Piatti brace lifts Impact | Crew, Orlando City draw

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The game in 100 words (or less): The Montreal Impact have proven to be a second-half of the season team the last several years, and that form appears to be holding true once more. Mauro Biello’s side won its fourth straight match on Saturday, while Ignacio Piatti continues to show he’s one of the most deadly scorers in the league. Meanwhile, RSL’s six-match unbeaten run is snapped north of the border, leaving the Western Conference side three points out of sixth place.

Three four moments that mattered

11′ — Piatti nets his first of the night — The Impact made this attack look so easy, and Ignacio Piatti simply won’t miss a chance like this one.

26′ — Evan Bush left motionless as RSL equalize — Luis Silva took matters into his own hands, and boy did he connect with this effort!

29′ — Impact punish poor RSL defense — Guess who? Piatti has his second of the evening.

47′ — Hosts begin to pile it on — Anthony Jackson-Hamel played provider in the first two goals, so it’s only fair he got one of his own.

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Man of the match: Ignacio Piatti

Goalscorers: Ignacio Piatti (11′, 29′), Luis Silva (26′), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (47′)

The game in 100 words (or less): Orlando City and the Crew settled for a point apiece on Saturday night, but for the former the club is running out of opportunities to pick up points in the playoff race. Giles Barnes pulled a goal back for the hosts after Lalas Abubakar netted his first MLS goal for the Crew, but Orlando couldn’t find a second. The Lions played up a man for the final 13 minutes, following Harrison Afful’s dismissal.

Three moments that mattered

35′ — Abubakar knocks in first MLS goal — Orlando City’s defensive woes are certainly notable as well, but for Lalas Abubakar this is a quality way to open his scoring account in MLS.

67′ — Barnes knots it up at 1-1 — The veteran MLS forward picked up his second goal of the season.

77′ — VAR used for red card decision — The video monitor came into play briefly in the second half, and Harrison Afful was sent off the pitch early after the referee viewed the defender’s elbow to the head of Yoshi Yotun.

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Man of the match: Zack Steffen

Goalscorers: Lalas Abubakar (35′), Giles Barnes (67′)

Report: Minnesota United to acquire Finlay from Crew

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Columbus Crew added an attacking talent earlier Tuesday, and may be shipping another away to the Western Conference, according to FourFourTwo’s Paul Tenorio.

Longtime Crew winger Ethan Finlay looks set for a return to the state of his birth, Minnesota, with Minnesota United acquiring him for General Allocation Money and Targeted Allocation Money.

Finlay, 27, would move just after Columbus’ signed Pedro Santos from Braga as the club’s third Designated Player.

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It’s been a tough season for Finlay in Columbus, as he has a single goal and a matching assist, but he’s been a Crew asset to the tune of 166 career appearances with 34 goals and 29 assists.

Finlay earned three caps under Jurgen Klinsmann after busting into the USMNT fold in 2016, assisting on Jozy Altidore’s match-winner in a friendly against Canada.

Crew breaks transfer record for Portuguese midfielder Santos (video)

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The Columbus Crew is using all three of its Designated Player slots for the first time in club history, and doing it in style.

Columbus boss Gregg Berhalter has brought in Braga playmaker Pedro Santos for what the club reports is its highest acquisition fee in history.

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The DP also carries Discovery Status, which is fairly hilarious for a 29-year-old player who has 15 Europa League appearances under his belt, but such is the processes of our oddball top flight here in America.

This is another promising signing for MLS, as Santos is in fine international form and joins Crew DPs Jonathan Mensah and Federico Higuain. The Crew currently occupy the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Here’s Berhalter, from the Crew press release:

“We are excited to welcome Pedro Santos to Columbus Crew SC and look forward to him making an immediate impact on this club this season,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “Pedro brings extensive tenure at a high European level and also has Europa League experience which we believe will be an asset to Crew SC and will fit well into our style of play. I want to thank [Investor-Operator and Chairman] Mr. Precourt for his continued support and investment in helping shape this roster as we make the push for the postseason and continue to compete for championships.”

Crew’s Higuain: “I think it’s the finish” of his time in Columbus

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Federico Higuain probably doesn’t want to hear that he’s turned back the clock, or that he’s defying time, but the Columbus Crew midfielder is having a decent year in Ohio.

Higuain has nine goals and two assists in 18 matches this season, and it turns out his sixth MLS season might just be his final one.

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The 32-year-old Argentine, older brother of Juventus star Gonzalo Higuain, feels he’s nearing the end of his Crew career. The 2012 MLS Newcomer of the Year is two goals away from his top season in the U.S. and sits at 150 matches, 50 goals and 33 assists since arriving from Argentine club CA Colon.

From The Columbus Dispatch:

“I don’t know what will happen, but I think it’s the finish of the cycle, you know? I’m sure the Columbus Crew will not lose too much without me — but maybe another team in or out of the United States will win something.”

He said the decision whether to walk away is his, and that “it’s tough.” Coach Gregg Berhalter doesn’t see it as the end of the road and says now’s not the time for that talk. Convincing Higuain could become easier depending on what the Crew do in the transfer window, or how the season shakes out, but for now “Pipa” is ready to leave the black and gold come November.

MLS Snapshot: Philadelphia Union 3-0 Columbus Crew

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The game in 100 words (or less)Goals from Ilsinho, CJ Sapong, and Marcus Epps led the Philadelphia Union to a 3-0 win over the Crew, who had not one but two players sent off in the loss. Jonathan Mensah saw red in the 35th minute for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity, and Lalas Abubakar was sent off for violent conduct with about a quarter hour to play. Sapong had two assists and Ilsinho added a helper too. Philly pulls to within five points of sixth-place Columbus, and have played one less game.

Three moments that mattered

20′  — Overhead pass gets deserved finish — Ilsinho made Zack Steffen’s diving attempt look feeble with a blast after Sapong’s bike-like ball across the box.

38′ — Alberg PK denied — Did we mention it could’ve been worse for Philly? Roland Alberg was stopped by the left hand of the law, er, Steffen. The left hand of the Steffen.

81′ — Epps puts it to bed — The man was credited with eight shots on the night, as 22-year-old Marcus Epps has his first MLS goal (He has scored in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup).

Man of the Match: Sapong.