The game in 100 words (or
less more): New York City FC’s struggles in their debut season of Major League Soccer have been well-documented thus far, and on Saturday it got a little bit worse for Jason Kreis’ men, as the expansion side dropped a 2-1 result at home against Columbus Crew SC, a side that had won just twice on the road all season ahead of Saturday’s game. For just the second time since Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo arrive last month, Kreis elected to start the duo together in central midfield, alongside Mix Diskerud. In practice, the results were just as bad as they looked on paper. Pirlo continued to struggle in his first full month of MLS action, as he was almost solely responsible for Crew SC’s opening goal in the 10th minute (video below). Lampard, who was coming back from a calf injury, was gassed after 60 minutes and subbed off. NYCFC’s playoff hopes look bleak, as they’re only level with sixth-place Montreal, who have four games in hand. As for Crew SC, they leapfrog New York Red Bulls for second place in the Eastern Conference.
Three moments that mattered
10′ — Pirlo falls asleep, Higuain heads home — Earth to Pirlo. Your team needs you to do something when the other team has a dangerous set piece. On this occasion, Pirlo fell asleep — glass of red in hand — and let Federico Higuain — all 5-foot-8 of him — head home from a corner kick.
29′ — Jacobson hammers one home from distance to equalize — Andrew Jacobson got a hold of this one after Patrick Mullins chested the ball down and laid it off for NYCFC’s only non-Designated Player midfielder on the day. Heck of a strike for his first goal since June 22, 2013.
83′ — Meram cuts inside, rolls one past Saunders — The winner, which seemed fairly inevitable from Crew SC, finally arrived in the 83rd minute, when Justin Meram cut inside from the left wing, avoid a pair of defenders and hit a slow roller past Josh Saunders and just inside the far post. In truth, a decent microcosm of NYCFC’s entire season.
Man of the match: Wil Trapp
Goalscorers: Higuain (10′), Jacobson (29′), Meram (83′)