Resilient Crew happy with comeback, but knows it can't always rely on late-game heroics
The Columbus Crew snatched another result from the closing minutes of a match Saturday, when Wil Trapp found Hector Jimenez in the 90th minute to secure a 1-1 draw for the Crew against D.C. United.
The curling shot wasn't dissimilar to Justin Meram's game-winner in Seattle March 29, which came in stoppage time to give the Crew the win.
But is the Crew looking to make their late-game dramatics a trend? Jimenez doesn't think so.
“Hopefully not,” he said after Saturday's match. “We want to be winning and be ahead. But it's kind of nice when everyone contributes and goals are coming from everyone on the team.”
Columbus Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter said that while he doesn't want the club to rely on late-game goals, he was impressed with his team's ability to come from behind again.
“A result in that game was looking grim, and they were tight and defensive-oriented and we went down a man,” he said. “But the guys didn't quit, and we commend them on that. We have to get better, but that effort to not give up in that game was spectacular.”
But Berhalter made it clear that his postgame talk to his team contained plenty of learning points, and wasn't all happiness about the point.
“There's a balance,” he said. “On one hand I'm very proud of them in this game and the way they didn't give up, and that's great. But on the other hand I just stated clearly: we have to improve, we have to get sharper, we have to get more precise. And we will. That's why you develop a team.”
It certainly wasn't all doom and gloom in the Crew locker room after the draw. Jimenez said the team felt positive, and that he was proud of the group's fight.
“It shows a lot,” he said. “Even though we didn't have a great start again, going down 1-0. I love that we took that challenge and we didn't back down from the physical game that was going on. I'm really proud of the team, and hopefully a game like this can carry us on throughout the season.”