- Jerald Lucas
Columbus Crew 2 lose 2-0 to Inter Miami II
The inaugural 2022 season of MLS Next Pro began Saturday with Columbus Crew 2 traveling to Ft. Lauderdale to take on Inter Miami II in their first game of the season. With captain Marco Micaletto leading the Black & Gold into this match, the excitement surrounding Columbus Crew 2 was starting to blossom into fruition.
As the game got underway, it looked like Miami was going to be aggressive and have Crew 2 on their heels. After the first few minutes, Crew 2 seemed to have settled down and was more methodical in how they attacked the defense of Miami. With Columbus holding more possession and taking more shots, it was Miami’s stellar defense that kept the game at a 0-0 gridlock heading into halftime. Miami had chances of their own, but Brady Scott’s remarkable saves also kept Columbus in the game.
In the second half, Crew 2 looked to continue their methodical approach. Unfortunately, Miami had a different plan. Miami came out of the half aggressive once again and had Crew 2 flustered, wondering how they were going to adjust to the new defensive strategy that was being thrown at them.
Miami took only 10 minutes of the second half to break the ice, with Emerson Rodriguez dribbling the ball into the penalty area and chipping it just over the outstretched arms of Crew 2 keeper Scott.
Just after the goal, Columbus looked to have found their rhythm yet again, generating opportunity after opportunity.
Rodriguez would punish Columbus yet again in the 63rd minute, notching his brace for the evening.
Columbus wouldn’t go down without a fight, never wavering under the pressure Miami was throwing at them. The young squad took the game to the limit, giving Miami everything they had to offer, well into second half stoppage time but it wasn’t enough to squander a consolation goal.
Despite being outshot 13-8, the Crew lead the game in possession with 60.4%, blocked shots (3), total passes (534), passing accuracy (86.9%), corners (8), and only having 1 offside call.
As the team is new and everyone is still getting accustomed to playing together, Crew 2 looks forward to their next game on April 3, 2022, in Chicago, and look to bring back the “America’s Hardest Working Team” mentality for the rest of the season.
You can catch all of the Crew 2 games live on the official MLS Next Pro website all season long.