Diego Rossi shows "improved" approach in first Columbus Crew goal


The Columbus Crew got a welcomed win and welcomed first goal from new Designated Player Diego Rossi, solidifying their Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoff credentials in the process by defeating Toronto FC, 2-0, Saturday night at Field.

Canadian international Jacen Russell-Rowe also scored for the second straight game off the bench as the Crew moved into fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points, just one shy of the second spot in the standings.

Rossi, who also made his first start after signing with the club earlier this month from Turkish Süper Lig club Fenerbahçe, relished the occasion of his maiden Columbus goal that helped earn three crucial points.

“It was really nice to be in the first XI, to score my first goal here at home with all the fans,” the 25-year-old Uruguayan said postmatch. “It was really nice, but also I enjoy the win that is really important for us in this part of the season. It is really important to win every game”.

That sentiment is shared by head coach Wilfried Nancy, who wanted a positive result as his club prepare for a three-game road trip – beginning with next Saturday’s (8:30 pm ET | Apple TV - Free) contest at red-hot Houston Dynamo FC.

“Yes, this is important, but I like the way we won today because it was not an easy game mentally,” the French manager said.

“Now the idea we have three [away] games and we have two games left before the break, and the idea is to try to make a run. We'll see what we're going to do able to do.”

The hope is Rossi plays a part in that desired run, with the idea of building chemistry with attacking partners Cucho Hernández and Christian Ramírez along the way.

“We tried to do good things in attack and also we helped the team to recover the ball,” Rossi said of Saturday night's performance. “So this is part of our idea and we also enjoy doing that and yeah, we work like every player we work really, really hard.”

Rossi, whose star-making stint with LAFC opened the door to a move to Europe in 2021, is also embracing his leadership role at Columbus.

“I think now maybe I'm more experienced and yeah, I tried every day to be better," Rossi said. "So maybe in these two years, maybe I improved a little bit, but I continue working hard. That's the most important thing for a player.”