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Opportunistic Crew defeat Dynamo in Bliss’ debut

BernardoAnorColumbusCrew1-HoustonDynamo (MLS)


New Columbus Crew head coach Brian Bliss probably couldn’t have asked for a better start to his interim coaching debut with the club.

Withstanding a few early chances from the visiting Houston Dynamo, the Crew took care of the few opportunities they had, defeating the Dynamo, 2-0, on Wednesday evening at Crew Stadium. The win marked the first game since 2009 that had been managed by someone other than Robert Warzycha, who was relieved of his duties as head coach earlier this week.

The Dynamo, playing a mid-week match in three successive weeks, could have gone up by three goals inside the first eleven minutes. Will Bruin easily got around Crew defender Eric Gehrig on three occasions to go one-on-one with goalkeeper Matt Lampson. The first time, Bruin’s attempt on goal was cleared off the line, but the second two opportunities, the Dynamo forward botched his chances and put them well wide.

Following the halftime break, the Crew took the only lead they would need just two minutes into the second half. Tony Tchani, a first half substitute for Wil Trapp, won a challenge with Dynamo midfielder Adam Moffat, played Bernardo AƱor forward, who chipped the ball over the Dynamo defense towards Justin Meram. The Crew forward unselfishly found rookie Ryan Finley, who scored his first ever professional goal.

Just two minutes later, the Crew had a chance to put the match away when the home side were given a penalty kick. However, Finley, who stepped up to take the spot kick, blasted it right down the middle, easily saved by Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall.

Twice more in the second half, the Crew had opportunities to put a second goal on the board, with a goal line clearance on a header and from a Dominic Oduro shot. In the 74th minute, Meram scored his side’s second goal of the match with a late run into the box, before a great left-footed finish past Hall.

Here are the game highlights:


  1. The Crew definitely had that bounce in their step that comes from a coaching change. Anytime a 5-year coach is let go, there will be some players that are rejuvinated. This was probably especially the case with Warzycha, who was not very open / communicative with players. In addition, his #1 priority was responsibility and #2 was discipline. It’s no surprise that a creative guy like Meram would feel like a burden had been lifted.

    Also, Bliss made it clear that (a) several out-of-favor guys would get a fresh look; (b) all positions are open competitions; and (c) he wanted to get to goal quicker. Overall, great performance (except for Gehrig’s first 10 minutes).

    • Recent road record, not good (our run of form makes some sense if you look at home vs. away, but being a bad road team is not a good sign even if it’s an explanation). Negative overall GD, not good. Low GF, not good (like 1.16 G/game).

      We do have some home games coming up but we also have to juggle CCL. In theory Carr and Cummings could help but the story of the season is the primary striking load is on Bruin, who runs hot and cold, and Barnes, while occasionally chipping in in spectacular fashion, does not score enough to remedy our goalscoring woes. We need a real second striker and I’m skeptical any cavalry’s coming on that this season.

  2. Give Kofi Sarkodie a shot at the Nats once qualification is wrapped up. Maybe he can surprise some people and take the RB spot. Also Yedlin.

  3. Now that I’ve seen the highlights I noticed two things.

    1. Terrible finishing for Bruin in the first 10 mins.

    2. Finley box score to on field performance disparity was amazing. Last night I saw he had a goal and an assist and was impressed. Turns out his goal would have been shot over if he was 1-2 feet further back. So close to being a moon shot. His “assist” was really a whiffed shot. Zero intent. And of course he missed a PK trying to shoot it through Tally Hall and after he demanded to take it.

      • Finley actually had a decent game, but yes he did miss almost as many sitters as Bruin (Will’s bad misses weren’t limited to the first 10 min…), and he is definitely off of the PK list!

    • Finley has barely played all year despite being the number one pick.When played he has shown tremendous energy but does not know what he is doing at this level. He did cause a goal that was ruled an own goal. The Crew should have him work during the off season with some accomplished goal scorer, as he could improve dramatically, something the Crew’s young players have not done under W.

  4. Am I just butthurt or does it seem like Houston always plays teams after they fire their coach? By always I mean it’s happened at least once before.


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