Emanuel Pogatetz

MLS Snapshot: Columbus Crew SC 2-1 New York Red Bulls

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The game in 100 words (or less): Columbus Crew SC may still have zero wins away from home this season, but they remain one of the toughest teams to play within the friendly confines of MAPFRE Stadium. On Saturday night, Gregg Berhalter’s side picked up their sixth home win of the season when they came from a goal down to defeat the New York Red Bulls, 2-1. Kei Kamara set up a pair of Ethan Finlay goals to cancel out Anatole Abang’s early opener, as Crew SC jumped three places from sixth to third in the Eastern Conference playoff race (for the time being). Wil Trapp made his return after missing the last 13 games (concussion symptoms), so the Black and Gold may just be perfectly positioned for yet another summer sprint up the table.

[ MORE: Previewing the rest of Week 18 ]

Three moments that mattered

8′ — Abong finishes from a difficult angle — Abang, though still just 18 years of age, has emerged as a bright prospect for the Red Bulls, who signed the Cameroonian striker this past winter. In the 8th minute, Abang dusted Emanuel Pogatetz and finished past Steve Clark at a near-impossible angle.

33′ — Finlay curls the equalizer inside the far post — For every other thing he does so well, Kamara’s greatest asset is and always will be his size and leaping ability. On Finlay’s equalizing goal in the 33rd minute, Kamara used that size and athleticism to flick a goal kick into space for Finlay, who made his way into the Red Bulls’ penalty area, cut inside and placed a curling shot inside the far post.

74′ — Finlay finshes Kamara’s service, bags the winner — Remember what we were just saying about Kamara? With 15 minutes left to play, he picked up his second assist of the game (fifth of the season), when he headed the ball to the goal mouth where Finlay was the man on the spot to poke home his second of the game.

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Man of the match: Ethan Finlay — The soon-to-be 25-year-old bagged his fourth and fifth goals of the season (to go with 10 assists), giving him the second-highest goals and assists total in the league (Kamara’s 17 are most).

LINEUPS

Columbus Crew SC: Clark, Francis, Pogatetz, Parkhurst, Jimenez, Tchani, Saeid, Meram (Steindorsson 71′), Higuain (Trapp 88′), Finlay, Kamara (Schoenfeld 90+2′)

Goals: Finlay (33′, 74′)

New York Red Bulls: Robles, Lade, Perrinelle, Miazga, Lawrence, Davis (Sam 55′), Felipe, Grella, Kljestan, Wright-Phillips, Abang (Zizzo 67′)

Goals: Abang (8′)

MLS Snapshot: Real Salt Lake 2-2 Columbus Crew SC

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The game in 100 words (or less): Columbus Crew SC’s tiresome run of having not won a single game away from home continued on Saturday night, as they settle for a 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium, though Gregg Berhalter’s side did come from behind twice in the game to earn a solid road point and solidify their place as a playoff team in the Eastern Conference (fifth place). For the visitors, it was more of the same old story — going down early and playing from behind suits their attacking mindset to a T, but continues to hold them back and forces them to settle for a point when three were possible with just a bit more focus and thought given to the defensive end of the field. Meanwhile, RSL sit in eighth in the Western Conference, three points out of the sixth and final playoff place.

[ MORE: Previewing the rest of Rivalry Week ]

Three moments that mattered

36′ — RSL take the lead with set-piece magic — “Magic” doesn’t even do this exquisite set-piece routine justice. It went Luke Mulholland’s -> Kyle Beckerman’s foot -> Joao Plata’s head -> Olmes Garcia’s foot -> back of the net. Just watch this beauty.

46′ — Jaime keeps the play alive, gets rewarded — Sebastian Jaime would not let the play die when Emanuel Pogatetz looked to be ushering a long, bouncing ball back to goalkeeper Steve Clark. Jaime chased the ball endlessly, won it off Pogatetz and chipped it past Clark from just outside the penalty area.

62′ — Finlay grabs Crew SC’s second equalizer of the game — Kei Kamara fed Federico Higuain out wide, where the Argentine drove toward the endline, crossed to the back post and Ethan Finlay finished with ease. A classic Crew SC goal.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Ethan Finlay — Another goal and another assist for Finlay, who now has three and nine on the season, respectively. So capable of operating in all areas of the attacking third — out wide and through the center — he’s a nightmare to track and mark.

LINEUPS

Real Salt Lake: Rimando, Mansally (Allen 67′), Kavita, Maund, Beltran, Beckerman, Mulholland, Plata (Okwuonu 80′), Gil, Garcia, Jaime (Sandoval 67′)

Goals: Garcia (36′), Jaime (46′)

Columbus Crew SC: Clark, Francis (Wahl 81′), Pogatetz, Parkhurst, Jimenez (Barson 62′), Tchani, Saeid, Meram (Steindorsson 67′), Higuain, Finlay, Kamara

Goals: Tchani (42′), Finlay (62′)

MLS Snapshot: Columbus Crew 2-2 Chicago Fire

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One game in 100 words: Calling this match a tale of two halves is fair by purely looking at the scoreboard. Two goals for the Crew in the first half. Two goals for the Fire in the second half. The resilience of Chicago was apparent when they came out in the last 45 minutes and looked determined to convert two consecutive scores, especially in the waning stoppage time minutes as Frank Yallop’s side absolutely dominated possession (nearly at 77 percent). Columbus is now two points behind the New York Red Bulls, the Eastern Conference’s third-place squad. At sixth place in the East, the Fire are situated one point above Toronto FC.

 

Goals

Columbus: Kei Kamara 8′, 55′

Chicago: David Accam 58′, Jason Johnson 90’+4′

 

Three moments that mattered

55’ — Kamara’s second for considerable 2-0 lead — Federico Higuain calmly set up this goal from a corner kick, curling his ball to the near post for Kevan George to leap and meet with his head. It wasn’t George who would convert it; his header skidded across the face of goal directly to Kei Kamara on the edge of the six-yard box. A simple headed finish capped the former Sporting KC man’s second goal of the match.

58’ — Accam capitalizes on deflection — Call it luck, but the Fire began to show some bite on the attacking end and were awarded for their endeavors with this goal. Forward Kennedy Igboananike trotted forward on his own through the Crew defense before reaching the end line and attempting to hit a clean cross toward frame. His effort deflected off the foot of defender Michael Parkhurst and looped over Emanuel Pogatetz, right to the head of David Accam for the close-range goal.

90’+4’ — Gehrig to Johnson levels it late — Fire defender Eric Gehrig sat just outside the box with space and time to aim his cross perfectly for substitute midfielder Jason Johnson. The Jamacian was far back in the penalty area, but he wound up and applied power to his header, which took one bounce and slipped past goalie Steve Clark for the late-gasp equalizer.

 

Lineups

Columbus: Kei Kamara (Aaron Schoenfeld 90’+1′); Steve Clark; Chris Klute, Michael Parkhurst, Emanuel Pogatetz, Waylon Francis; Tony Tchani, Kevan George, Ethan Finlay (Kristinn Steindórsson 75′), Federico Higuain (Ben Speas 87′), Justin Meram

Chicago: Kennedy Igboananike (Guly 83′); Jon Busch, Eric Gehrig, Jeff Larentowicz, Adailton, Joevin Jones, Razvan Cocis (Quincy Amarikwa 71′), Matt Polster, Harrison Shipp (Jason Johnson 67’), Shaun Maloney, David Accam

MLS Team of the Week — Stars of Week 10

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Week 10 of the 2015 Major League Soccer season is in the books, and it’s safe to say the last three days of MLS action was one of the best in recent memory. In 10 games played between Friday and Sunday, just one team — the Philadelphia Union — failed to score a goal.

Unsurprisingly, you’ll find not a single Union player on this week’s MLS Team of the Week.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Week 10 MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]

Instead, you will find the likes of Kei Kamara and Bradley Wright-Phillips — scorers of braces — as well as Mauro Diaz and Pedro Morales — creators of goals a plenty. There’s also Nick Rimando, 93rd-minute-penalty-saving extraordinaire, because how could you not give that guy the nod?

Thoughts? Questions? Agreements? Disagreements? (Of course not.) Leave them in the comments section, as always. I’m not afraid to defend my picks.

[ MORE: 2015 MLS Team of the Week archive ]

MLS Team of the Week — Week 10

Goalkeeper: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

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Defenders: Emanuel Pogatetz (Columbus Crew SC), Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls), Nat Borchers (Portland Timbers), Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers)

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Midfielders: Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas), Pedro Morales (Vancouver Whitecaps), Matias Laba (Vancouver Whitecaps)

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Forwards: Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew SC), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls), Giles Barnes (Houston Dynamo)

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MLS Snapshot: Columbus Crew SC 4-1 Philadelphia Union

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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.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

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.

LINEUPS

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′)