Photos: Crew SC’s First Game Under New Ownership
Columbus Crew SC returned to action on Saturday, with the opening game of the 2019 MLS Season. The team’s new owners and saviors were on hand at an emotionally charged MAPFRE Stadium, watching the Crew come back from possible defeat to draw 1-1 with last years Supporters Shield winners, New York Red Bulls.
The Haslam and Edwards family were greeted by a standing ovation from a packed crowd that had feared the worst when previous ownership had seemingly given up on Columbus. For many in attendance, the day was already a colossal victory for our city before the opening whistle had even blown.
This new Crew era will need wins though, and unfortunately New York Red Bulls were in no mood to simply roll over for the occasion. Despite a much weakened team, they stuck with their usual dogged tactics of disrupting Columbus’ play, preventing the home team from getting a grip on the game and grabbing the odd goal when they got the chance.
Andreas Ivan was able to take such a chance early on, and gave the visitors the lead after six minutes with an open header that left Crew ‘keeper Zack Steffan stranded in the middle of his goal.
Gaston Sauro was able to find the equalizer just before the half-time break, with a firm header coming off of Federico Higuain’s first assist of the year.
New York sat back in the hopes of frustrating, and Crew SC were unable to turn some late second-half pressure into the winning goal. It left the teams level at the end, and Columbus was disappointed to not be able to turn off-field optimism and a renewed sense purpose into three points on the field.
Matt Ellis is a freelance photographer who covers bands that visit the city and the Columbus Crew MLS team. More about Matt can be found at Matt Ellis Photography.