The Columbus Crew gave away their opportunity to open the season with two straight wins for the first time in history, as the Vancouver Whitecaps capitalized on turnovers for both of their goals in a 2-1 victory at BC Place on Saturday.
"It's a game of mistakes and we were punished for our two," goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum said.
As a result, the Crew had to settle for three points out of a possible six on their West Coast swing prior to next Saturday's home opener against the San Jose Earthquakes. And it's a safe bet that being better and more careful with the ball will be a theme in practice, though some of the Crew's problems on Saturday may have been attributed to playing on turf.
"Vancouver adjusted to the surface a little bit quicker than us," coach Robert Warzycha said. "We made some mistakes down the road that probably cost us the game."
Regardless, Daigo Kobayashi opened the scoring in the sixth minute after Crew midfielders Danny O'Rourke and Dominic Oduro had a communication breakdown near the center circle, leaving the ball unattended for a Whitecaps counter. Kobayashi then finished the play, taking advantage of the space he was given and hitting a top-shelf strike from distance to leave the Crew trailing for the first time this season.
"That’s why you come to the stadium – to see goals like this, yeah?" Warzycha said.
Unlike last week's 3-0 win at Chivas USA when Gruenebaum covered for any defensive blunders, the 30-year-old contributed to Columbus' turnover woes by playing an ill-advised outlet pass to Glauber. >The Brazilian center back received the ball from Gruenebaum about 30 yards from goal but was facing him and had no idea Kenny Miller was closing. Miller stole the ball from Glauber, raced in on goal and slotted the winner in the 57th minute.
"It was a bad decision on my part to play the ball to Glauber," Gruenebaum said. "He wasn't in position to really do anything but play me back, so I'll take a touch next time and clear the ball."