Crew View: Columbus searching for offensive creativity

Donovan Ricketts and Milovan Mirosevic

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One thing a coach won’t tolerate is a lack of effort. So it will be interesting to see how the Columbus Crew respond to their poor performance Sunday that resulted in a 2-1 loss at Montreal.

“I expect us to bounce back,” head coach Robert Warzycha said afterward. “As I said to the players, if you lose make sure you leave everything on the field and work for it. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Today it was not good for our players.”

The Crew (6-6-4) almost got away with three points thanks to a 64th-minute goal by Milovan Mirosevic (above right), but even then it was clear that Montreal were the aggressors and it was only a matter of time before they broke through.

“They started to have more chances, more possession of the ball in our half,” Mirosevic said. “That’s a very dangerous thing for the team and when we got the ball back we were too far from the goal.”

Montreal rallied with two goals in the final 12 minutes, including a penalty by Patrice Bernier in the 89th minute. Meanwhile, Columbus managed a measly one shot on target for the game – the goal that came from a Nemanja Vukovic corner kick – against a flailing club that had allowed nine goals in the previous three matches.

HIGHLIGHTS: MTL 2, CLB 1

“We’re missing a little creativity up front,” defender Josh Williams said. “I don’t know what it is. I’m just trying to do my job and let the coaches and forwards figure that out.”

It had better come soon as the Crew begin a run of four straight games against the top two clubs in the Eastern Conference. They host both Sporting Kansas City on Saturday and D.C. United on July 21 before playing both teams back-to-back on the road in the following two weeks.

The Crew are in a three-way tie for 14th in scoring (1.06 avg.) with 17 goals and Sunday was the fifth time in 16 games they’ve had two or fewer shots on goal.

Hanging with Chad

On the good side for Columbus on Sunday was Chad Marshall's return from injury for the first time in nine games. Josh Williams was happy to see his center back partner again.

“To me, it’s like he’s a safety net there,” Williams remarked. “I’ve said time and time again he’s the best defender in the league, and you never have to really worry about him.”

There was a bit of a scary moment for Marshall, though, when he jumped in front of a Justin Mapp shot in the 50th minute and took it off his chest. Marshall remained down momentarily but ultimately fought off the blow and continued to play.

By the numbers

2 – Fewer points (22) after 16 games this season compared to a 6-4-6 record in 2011.

2 – Goals for Mirosevic in his first season with the Crew – both of which have come against the Impact.

1 – Loss in Canada for the Crew after falling in their first trip to Montreal. They are 2-0-5 at Toronto FC and 1-0 in Vancouver.