MLS Snapshot: Columbus Crew SC 1-0 Houston Dynamo (video)

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

The game in 100 words (or less): What are we to make of Columbus Crew SC this season? It’s been a shockingly slow, frustrating start to 2016 for last year’s MLS Cup runners-up, having won just one of their first six games ahead of Saturday’s 1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo. Even that triumph, against a 10-man side for 70 minutes, left much to be desired. It’s not only that the game finished 1-0, but also the sparse number of chances created with that man advantage (11 shots, 6 on target over the 90 minutes) that leaves you wondering, “where’s last year’s Crew SC? Those guys were fun and awesome and secretly my second-favorite team in the league.” They’re now a top-six team in the Eastern Conference, but they’re a far cry from last year’s MLS-beating side that scored and scored and scored its way to MLS Cup.

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Three moments that mattered

20′ — Red card to Deric, PK to Crew SC — Tyler Deric took Federico Higuain, who was through and in on goal, down inside the penalty area. Referee Kevin Stott showed the Dynamo ‘keeper a red card.

21′ — Kamara steps up and buries the PK — Kamara has started 2016 considerably more slowly than his 22-goal pace of 2015, but much like a volume shooter in basketball, sometimes all you have to do is see the ball go in to get the confidence flowing again. That’s two goals in two weeks for Kamara. Look out.

60′ — Meram bundles it home, build-up ruled offside — Justin Meram had the ball in the back of Houston’s net right on the hour mark, but Kamara was in an offside position when Waylon Francis’s cross came into the box and hit the Sierra Leonean striker.

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Man of the match: Nah.

Goalscorers: Kamara (21′ – PK)