First-half flurry carries Union past Crew, 3-0
It was the most explosive sequence in the Union's four-year history. Three first-half goals in six minutes propelled the Union to a 3-0 Major League Soccer victory over the Columbus Crew before 16,113 Wednesday night at PPL Park in Chester.
It was the most explosive sequence in the Union's four-year history.
Three first-half goals in six minutes propelled the Union to a 3-0 Major League Soccer victory over the Columbus Crew before 16,113 Wednesday night at PPL Park in Chester.
The Union (6-5-4) had captured each of their previous five wins by one goal.
"I am careful in trying not to make too big a deal of a game one way or another, but I think this one was the kind of game we needed," Union team manager John Hackworth said.
The Union will not return to MLS action until June 23, when they host the New York Red Bulls. The victory moved the Union into a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo. The top five teams will make the playoffs.
In a surprise, the Union's Jack McInerney, who leads MLS with 10 goals, did not figure in the three-goal spurt, although he came close on a few occasions.
The Union started their three main scoring threats together - McInerney, Sebastien Le Toux, and Conor Casey - and the trio generated plenty of offense. Even though McInerney was not involved in the scoring, he drew a lot of attention, opening up space for others.
The Union opened the scoring in the 25th minute, when Brian Carroll took what looked like a routine shot from 35 yards out. The ball deflected off Crew defender Eric Gehrig and went into the goal.
"It was open and I wanted to put something on target and it happened to find its way in," Carroll said of his first MLS goal this season.
The second goal in the 29th minute started from a Le Toux corner that was headed on goal by Carroll. Defender Sheanon Williams, alone on the far post, volleyed it in for his first goal.
The Union were 1-2-1 in their previous four games and were outscored by 10-6 in those games.
"We have been going through a little tough stretch of not playing the kind of soccer that we know we can play," Williams said. "And tonight was a good example of when we put it together, this is what we can do."
Columbus (4-5-5) remained on its heels, and in the 31st minute Casey scored his third goal of the season on a diving header off a Le Toux service.
Notes. The Union will play D.C. United on June 12 in the U.S. Open Cup's fourth round in Boyds, Md. U.S. Soccer announced Wednesday that if the Union win over D.C. United, they will host the winner of the New England Revolution-Red Bulls game in a quarterfinal on June 26 at 7:30 p.m. at PPL Park. That could mean two games with the rival Red Bulls in four days.