Crew View: Columbus weather storm, take road point
The Columbus Crew’s 1-1 tie at San Jose on Saturday was like quelling hunger with a bag of greasy chips: It filled the stomach but wasn’t very satisfying.
Having withstood the Earthquakes’ assault for nearly the entire match, the Crew (3-4-3) were ready to sneak out of Buck Shaw Stadium with three points thanks to Justin Meram’s impressive chip at the end of the first half that found its way into the side netting.
But instead of a big victory to start a two-game trip – Columbus head north to play Seattle on Wednesday (10 pm ET, MLS Live) – Alan Gordon drew San Jose level in the 90th minute.
“We didn’t come out on fire, but we withstood their flurry and got one [goal], which is what you’ve got to do on the road,” Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum (above) told MLSsoccer.com afterwards. “Unfortunately we couldn’t make it stand.”
Despite being outshot 24-9 and getting only one shot on goal, the Crew potentially could have put the game away in the 77th minute on a Tony Tchani attempt off a corner kick that went just right of the frame.
“It’s a mixed feeling because after the first 30 minutes we should have been 2-0 down,” head coach Robert Warzycha said. “Andy played out of his mind – we had a chance to go up 2-0 with Tchani’s header but then we gave up the goal in the last minute.”
Gruenebaum was spectacular and tied a career-high with seven saves – including a Chris Wondolowski penalty kick in the 22nd minute.
Grossman makes rare appearance
Midfielder Cole Grossman made his third career appearance Saturday but his first since Sept. 24 during his rookie season. He replaced the injured Milovan Mirosevic at halftime.
“He did what he could in the middle,” Warzycha said of Grossman. “He was fine.”
It’s been a trying season for the Duke product because he previously had not been able to crack the game-day roster.
“I’ll take game minutes any way, shape or form: home, away from home, against anybody in the league,” Grossman said. “I’ve worked unbelievably hard with the team and on my own. I’ve tried to stay as positive as I can.”
Gruenebaum on the out-of-nowhere bending goal by Meram in the 45th minute:
“I don’t think he was particularly having the best first half of his life, but that’s what he can do. He can change the game on one play. It doesn’t matter if he’s playing lights out or having a rough one. He’s very confident in his ability. He showed it there.”
A Number of things
5 – Points in five away matches (1-2-2). Last season the Crew had 15 in 17 games (4-10-3)
4 – Goals allowed on the road
2 – Goals scored on the road
1 – Shot on goal from Meram out of three this season that did not result in a score