After going into a harsh environment in San Jose and earning their first draw of the season, the Columbus Crew are happy with a point, but wish they had made it three.
Head coach Gregg Berhalter's philosophy from the beginning of the season has been to attack just as much on the road as at home, and Sunday was no different, extending the team's unbeaten run away from Crew Stadium.
“We treat home and away the same way,” Berhalter told reporters after the match. “We want to go out and play our game, we want to try to impose our game on the opponent, and it doesn't matter where we are.”
But even with a positive mindset and an opening half that Berhalter was hoping for, the Crew came out flat to begin the second half, and a 51st minute goal from Chris Wondolowski pulled San Jose even.
“I think the first five minutes of the second half could have been better,” Berhalter said. “We gave up too much, we gave the ball away in some spots that led to throw-ins or corner kicks in our end, and unfortunately we paid for that.”
Wondolowski's goal from a corner kick was the exact threat that the Crew had been preparing for all week. And Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark admitted his frustration.
“It's unfortunate to prepare for something and then have them beat us anyway,” he said. “So, credit to them, but it's difficult.”
The Crew finished with the advantage in both passing and possession, and despite being unable to find a second goal, they take heart from playing an overall solid match. After all, they're still atop the East and feeling positive.
“Overall, I thought we did well,” said forward Dominic Oduro, who was foiled by the crossbar on a potential game-winner in the 82nd minute. “We did what we had to do, and at this point we'll just take a point right now and move on to the next game.
“Confidence-wise, I don't think we lost it,” Oduro continued. “It's just a matter of playing the next game and moving on. We wanted three points, and we didn't get it. So back to the drawing board until the next one.”
Andrew King covers the Columbus Crew for MLSsoccer.com.