Crew SC doomed by second-half fade in Seattle: "We lost our aggression"

SEATTLE – For Columbus Crew SC and head coach Gregg Berhalter, a big Saturday afternoon road win over the Seattle Sounders was well within reach until the game’s waning moments.

Columbus comfortably out-possessed Seattle and controlled the action for much of the first half, only to find themselves locked in a scoreless draw all the way until the 88th minute – a late goal the only hurdle separating them from victory.

But it was the Sounders who would nab the late game-winner courtesy of forward Jordan Morris, who poked a rebound past goalkeeper Steve Clark and ensured Columbus would head home with no points to show for Saturday’s effort.

“I think it was a game of two halves in terms of us controlling the first half and them controlling the second half,” Berhalter told reporters after the game. “Disappointed with our reaction out of the locker room in the second half. I thought we lost our aggression and our pressing wasn’t good enough. It allowed them to take control of the game.”

It was a final scoreline that Berhalter and Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid both agreed wasn’t indicative of the true nature of the game, a back-and-forth affair throughout that saw both sides narrowly miss a handful of seemingly golden opportunities on goal.

“The fans probably got some good entertainment out of this game,” Berhalter said. “We came to play like we always do. Regardless of the atmosphere, we came to dominate the game. For large stretches, we did that. Unfortunately in the second half we weren’t able to maintain that up to our standard.”

Despite giving up the goal, Berhalter also said he felt his side did a decent job handling Seattle’s attack and Morris in particular. Seattle’s much-hyped Homegrown rookie now has scored in three consecutive matches.

“He obviously got a goal and was dangerous at times,” Berhalter said. “I think the guys did a good job against him. He’s a good player with a bright future, so it’s nice to see guys like that in the league perform well.”

The loss knocked Columbus to 2-4-2 on the season and kept them just one point clear of the Chicago Fire for last place in the Eastern Conference ahead of next weekend’s matchup with the Montreal Impact.