Picture Credits: PhantomPhotos (@phantomphotos_)
Columbus lost Saturday Nights match against Atlanta United 3-2 on Military Appreciation Night. The same issues that have plagued the Crew as of recent, were on display in this match as well. Columbus once again conceded first, as well as early, as Atlanta's Ezequiel Barco opened the scoring in the 5th minute of the match. Columbus gave up two penalty kicks, both of which were scored by Atlanta, as well as had two goals called back for offsides.
The problems for the Crew stem from more than just there inability to score first and early. A lot of their recent problems have been mental mistakes and errors, like the first goal in the previous match against D.C United. I will dive into what the current issues the Crew are facing.
Picture Credits: Devin Weisbarth
Having To Play From Behind
There has been a common theme in the recent three game skid for the Columbus Crew. That is that the Crew have fell behind in every one of those matches. One goal deficits are normally no that daunting, but when that deficit becomes two or three goals, it can start to wear on you mentally and physically, especially when it has happened in three straight matches. If the Crew can start to get the first goal, they will be very hard to beat, as when they play compact and not spread out as they would be when chasing a game, they are much more solid defensively.
Keep The Mistakes At The Back To A Minimum
A big problem that has lead to the early goals the Crew have been conceding is the mistakes that have been made at the back. Crew Captain Jonathan Mensah had two mistakes in the match against D.C United, and also had one abasing Atlanta. It also does not help that the Crew gave up two penalty kicks in this match, which is just a recipe for disaster. Columbus really misses the partnership of Jonathan Mensah and Josh Williams at center back, as they each compliment each other really well.
Playing Like Your Down To Start The Game
Something that I have noticed over the past two games is that the Crew play complacent until they are a goal or two down. This is a team that is coming off of the MLS Cup Championship last season, so they should know that they have a huge target on their backs. Fast starts are what propel this team to be hard to beat, but something that has lacked over the past few matches. If Columbus can start getting off to better starts, they will get in a good run of form.
Complacency is something that can kill a team. And in my opinion, that is exactly what has happened to this team. But that can all be fixed, and hopefully Columbus will get back another center back as Vito Wormgoor is on schedule to at least make the bench this upcoming weekend.
Columbus will hit the road for two straight matches as they will head to Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois for the second matchup of the season with the Chicago Fire Saturday evening. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.