Takeaway Points: LA Galaxy
The Crew earned a point in an emotional match agaisnt Western Conference heavweight LA Galaxy on Wednesday night in a 1-1 draw. Here are three things left to ponder from the match:
1. PLAYING FOR KIRK
It wasn't easy, but Robert Warzycha and the Crew were able to gather their emotions to play in the honor of Kirk Urso, who passed away on August 5. Winning wasn't the most important thing on the Black & Gold's agenda, but rather making Urso's family proud.
"Obviously, the three points were not the most important thing today," Warzycha said postgame. "I think there was a bigger thing we were playing for.”
Midfielder Cole Grossman said after the match that the emotional week and a half that preceded Wednesday's game made it difficult to play through the emotion.
“I think it’s easy to say ‘play for Kirk’ and ‘work hard for Kirk’, but it’s a lot harder to do, particularly when it’s still recent," Grossman explained. "I think we are all trying to make the best of it and we will never forget the kind of kid he was."
2. JAIRO HEATING UP
Costa Rican striker Jairo Arrieta scored the Crew's lone goal from the match. In five matches in Black & Gold, Arrieta has scored three goals and chipped in an assist since joining the Crew.
The Costa Rican's work rate in the final third has been a key component in Columbus' improved attack. Arrieta is feeling more confident with each match as he adapts to MLS.
"I feel more comfortable. Scoring goals gives more confidence," Arrieta elaborated. "As a forward, you want to be able to help the team and score more goals."
3. GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN
Though the match was more about playing in Urso's honor rather than winning or losing, the Crew felt points were left on the table Wednesday night. Columbus was the aggressor for the majority of the match, outshooting LA 20-9.
"Win, lose, or draw, we want to play with honor and play the way Kirk would have," goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum said. "I think we did that tonight. I think we had a lot of chances."
"It would have been nice to win, but we'll take [the draw] and move on," Gruenebaum added.
The team will look to carry on the momentum from playing well against LA into Houston on Sunday against the Dynamo.
"We can take away from this game all the positives and keep playing hard," the 'keeper finished.