Columbus, L.A. set for crucial clash at Crew Stadium
Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Galaxy and Columbus Crew will be eyeing three points when the two clubs meet at Crew Stadium on Saturday.
Columbus enters the weekend tied with the Philadelphia Union for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, though Philadelphia holds the edge in the tiebreaker.
The Crew appeared to be in good stead following a run of seven points from three games, but a 3-2 home loss to Toronto FC last time out - the third time Columbus has lost to TFC this season - has brought the club back to reality.
"To lose three games to any team out of three contests, it hurts," Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter said. "We had intentions to go out there and try to win the game. Credit Toronto for their play, but (ours) wasn't good enough. It's missing a little bit, and that's what bothers me. When you have guys in a game like this, with a chance to get back at them, a chance to climb the table and then to have four or five guys have bad performances, it's not good."
Federico Higuain has scored in three consecutive games following his penalty against Toronto, a welcomed run of form after failing to find the back of the net since May 17.
"I don't care how goals come. A goal is a goal," Berhalter said. "At the end of the day, 10 years from now you're not going to say a penalty kick and a cross shot. I thought that we created other good opportunities especially in the first half. We had some good moves that we were in front of goal that we could make something happen and this is a very good defensive team, Toronto."
Los Angeles comes into the match in a rich vein of offensive form having scored 14 goals over its last five games.
The Galaxy have taken seven points from their last three league games, defeating Seattle Sounders FC and the Portland Timbers before settling for a point in a 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes last time out.
But even with the high scoring total over the past few games, the Galaxy will need to be a bit more clinical in front of net in order to guarantee themselves three points.
"I think the difference in the game was probably our inability to do better in the last third of the field and attacking with our passing and just taking advantage of the opportunities that we created," Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said after the draw with San Jose. "Certainly I would say the first half our defending in those two goals could certainly be better, but again every goal is a mistake on both sides."
08/15 18:25:14 ET