The game in 100 words (or less): Columbus Crew SC just have too many attacking options — all of whom play together so well, so freely and so seamlessly — which the Philadelphia Union found out the hard way on Saturday night. With Kei Kamara now in the fold, Crew SC have a focal point to their attack, the central hub with which the other weapons (more on them in a bit) can combine and shred opposing midfields and defenses with frightening regularity. The only thing that can slow down this Crew SC buzzsaw is themselves, or a serious rash of mid-season injuries. Fingers crossed (because I love watching good soccer), the latter doesn’t happen.
[ RECAPS: Two games on Friday night ]
Three moments that mattered
21′ — Kamara chests it down, finishes far post — Pick your poison, Crew SC opponents. You really do need six defenders and a goalkeeper to corral the four-headed monster of Kamara, Federico Higuain, Ethan Finlay and Justin Meram. On this occasion it was Finlay dribbling out wide and providing the cross for Kamara (last week it was the other way around), who controlled and finished easily.
32′ — Finlay with the smooth redirect, makes it 2-0 — Left side, right side, it doesn’t matter, because Crew SC have a winger or overlapping full back that can beat you on either side. This time it was Waylon Francis who provided the width on the left, crossed into the box and Finlay ghosted in behind Kamara and applied the slick first-time finish.
44′ — Meram’s mazy dribble rewarded with a goal — This thing really got out of hand quickly, didn’t it? Meram brought Emanuel Pogatetz’s long ball down and turned on Raymon Gaddis in one quick motion, held Gaddis off from behind and was very fortunate that John McCarthy made a mess of the subsequent shot and let the ball squirt over the end line.
Man of the match: Ethan Finlay — This man is on the verge of becoming an absolute star. Two goals and an assist for the 24-year-old in this one, and countless other chances created that could have made the final score infinitely more lopsided.
Columbus Crew SC: Clark, Francis, Pogatetz (Wahl 56′), Parkhurst, Grana, Tchani, Saeid, Meram (Steindorsson 66′), Higuain, Finlay, Kamara (Schoenfeld 77′)
Goals: Kamara (21′), Finlay (32′, 73′), Meram (44′)
Philadelphia Union: McCarthy, Fabinho, Vitoria, Edu, Gaddis, Lahoud, Carroll (White 61′), Wenger (Ayuk 46′), Maidana, Le Toux (Casey 61′), Sapong
Goals: Ayuk (64′)