By Bane Rossi
Christian Ramirez Crew post-game press conference 9 30 2023 Crew 1 Union 1.mp3
Head coach Wilfried Nancy made it clear that the Columbus Crew’s 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night at Lower.com Field was a game the Club can build upon entering the biggest week of the regular season.
In a matchup between two high-powered Eastern Conference sides, the points were split, but the Black & Gold showed off its attacking prowess that’s powered the Club throughout 2023. Other than one moment, the defense was steady too.
Philadelphia was limited to two on goal – one of which frustrated Nancy and his players. In the 50th minute, the visitors jumped in front through an in-swinging corner that Nathan Harriel scored on a header.
Cucho Hernández equalized the match later in the second half, though, when he converted a penalty. In the 70th minute, he attempted a long-range freekick. A Union defender was penalized for a hand ball, and two minutes later, Cucho scored his 14th goal of the year.
With the draw, the Crew now sits fifth in the Eastern Conference standings, while Philadelphia is in fourth. In many ways, Saturday night’s sold-out showdown felt like an early postseason match with intense moments and a brilliant atmosphere.
The Black & Gold continue their campaign Wednesday night with a midweek match at the New England Revolution. The Revs have played one less match but are third in the conference – two points above the Crew.
The significance of every match will only grow over the next three games, but Wednesday will be another night in which Columbus, with a win, can leapfrog its opponent and potential clinch home-field advantage in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
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