The Union shut out the Columbus Crew, 1-0, on Wednesday night in their first home game at Subaru Park since the end of May.
Here are some observations on the game.
McGlynn gets the call
With Dániel Gazdag and Anthony Fontana hurt and José Andrés Martínez at the Copa América, the Union (10-5-2, 18 points) had a hole to fill in midfield. Manager Jim Curtin turned to Jack McGlynn to fill it, giving the 17-year-old his third professional start.
McGlynn lined up on the left side of the midfield diamond. He didn’t do anything remarkable, but he didn’t need to. He just did his job, and that was enough: 28 touches, 20-of-25 passing, five recoveries and one duel won, before exiting for Matt Real in the 58th minute.
Monteiro’s big game
Jamiro Monteiro scored the game’s only goal in the 24th minute, and it was an excellent one. He jumped on a loose ball at the top of the 18-yard box and fired it in with authority. The goal was part of an excellent performance all over the field: 59 touches, 28-of-37 passing, two shots, seven duels won, five recoveries and three tackles.
Real went in with a pretty hard tackle on Lucas Zelarayán in the 72nd minute, and was shown a straight red card for it. From up in the press box in real time, it looked worthy of ejection. But referee Joe Dickerson was summoned to the monitor by the video review booth, and replays showed Real got the ball well before he got Zelarayán. (And he did get him.)
By the letter of the law, Dickerson was right to rescind the red card and show a yellow card instead. But Real ought to count himself lucky that he escaped.
Columbus manager Caleb Porter didn’t start Zelarayán, his star playmaker, with the Crew (4-3-2, 14 points) in the midst of a three-game week just like the Union are. You didn’t have to guess what Porter thought of his team’s first half, because he subbed Zelarayán at halftime for Kevin Molino.
But the move didn’t change things. Zelarayán had zero shots and chances created. The Union also did a great job of shutting down Crew striker Gyasi Zardes, holding him without a shot too.
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A significant portion of the crowd wasn’t in the seating bowl at kickoff because parking lot A, one of the larger lots around the stadium, was closed off early because it was full. Many fans who had prepaid for parking in the lot were shut out and had to park elsewhere, and gave the Union an earful on social media.
You might not normally read about that sort of thing in a recap of a sports game, but those fans deserve to be heard. The Union had three weeks to prepare for their first full-capacity game since before the pandemic, and the court of public opinion judged that the team came up short.