USMNT REWIND: Gyasi Zardes Closes Crew Stadium with Memorable Brace vs. Chicago Fire
With the U.S. Men’s National Team Gold Cup roster coming closer to selection, here’s a look at how the domestic player pool performed in Major League Soccer this past weekend.
Gyasi Zardes gave Historic Crew Stadium the proper send-off, striking twice to lift the Columbus Crew to a 2-0 victory over Chicago Fire in a Major League Soccer game on Saturday night.
That result is a familiar score in U.S. Men’s National Team history at the stadium.
One of 60 players selected to the USMNT preliminary roster for next month's Concacaf Gold Cup, the 29-year-old forward connected twice within a 16-span during the first half. The defending MLS Cup champions (4-2-2, 14 points) are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
Zardes, who tied Lucas Zelarayan for the club lead with three goals apiece, gave the Crew all the scoring it needed in the 18th minute, volleying home from eight yards into the lower right corner past goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth after a failed Chicago clearance.
In the 34th minute, Jonathan Mensah lofted a long ball down the right side to Derrick Etienne, Jr. Etienne then shuffled the ball off on the left to Zardes, who slipped it into an empty net.
And how appropriate about that final score for the home side. The stadium, built in 1999, has been home to numerous USMNT matches. Most notably, four successive “Dos a Cero” wins against Mexico in World Cup qualifying (2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013) were played there.
The venue also was the site of several U.S. Women's National Team games, including a group stage match at 2003 Women's World Cup, and three MLS Cups.
The Crew's new 20,000-seat downtown stadium in the Ohio capital, Lower.com Field, is scheduled to host its inaugural game as Columbus plays the New England Revolution on July 3.
SOME SAVING GRACES
Goalkeepers don't necessarily need a clean sheet to standout. Matt Turner can attest to that in the New England Revolution's 3-2 away triumph at New York City FC on Saturday. With its game scoreless in the 14th minute, the Revs keeper saved a penalty kick from Valentin Castellanos.
That was Turner's fourth penalty save in his MLS career across all competitions and fifth stop in the last 11 PK attempts with the Revs and USMNT. He also denied midfielder Maxi Moralez from close range a minute into second-half stoppage time to preserve the three points and victory.
Bill Hamid, on the other hand, produced his second shutout in as many appearances this season in D.C. United's 1-0 win over Inter Miami on Saturday night. Hamid, who missed D.C.'s opening seven contests while recovering from preseason hernia surgery, made one save.
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
Forward Jonathan Lewis tallied his first goal of the year in the Colorado Rapids' 2-0 victory over FC Cincinnati on Saturday night. Lewis, who came on for first-half goal-scorer Diego Rubio at halftime, ran onto a through ball from captain Jack Price and put home the insurance goal from a tight angle in the 72nd minute.
SOME TIMELY HELP
Andrés Perea and Chris Mueller made their marks on Orlando City’s first and final goals, respectively, of its 3-2 home win against Toronto FC on Saturday night. Both players earned secondary assists, which are counted in MLS.
In the opening minute, Perea connected with Mauricio Pereyra up the middle. Pereyra then found an onrushing Tesho Akindele, who beat keeper Quentin Westberg for a 1-0 lead. It was the 20-year-old Perea’s first assist of the season.
With the score knotted at 2-2 in the 84th minute, Mueller, who made the most of his 19 minutes as a second-half substitute, helped set up the game-winner. Junior Urso played a combination with Mueller after a Toronto turnover before the former scored from 16 yards. Mueller is tied for the team lead in assists with Akindele (three apiece).
BACK IN THE LIONS DEN
Forward Daryl Dike made his first appearance with Orlando City SC since returning from his loan-spell with Barnsley FC in the English Championship, coming on the 64th minute for Akindele. Dike, 21, played a vital role in helping Barnsley reach the English Football League promotion playoffs, scoring nine goals in 21 appearances.
-- Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; MLS) - 90 minutes in 2-0 win at FC Cincinnati (June 19)
-- Paul Arriola (D.C. United; MLS) – 90 minutes in 1-0 win vs. Inter Miami CF (June 19)
-- Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC; MLS) - Not in 18, DNP in 3-2 loss at Orlando City SC (June 19)
-- Julian Araujo (Los Angeles Galaxy; MLS) - 90 minutes in 2-1 loss vs. Seattle Sounders (June 19)
-- George Bello (Atlanta United; MLS) - 90 minutes in 2-2 draw vs. Philadelphia Union (June 20)
-- Michael Bradley (Toronto FC; MLS) - 90 minutes in 3-2 loss at Orlando City SC (June 19)
-- Johnny Cardoso (Internacional; Brazilian Serie A) - In 18, DNP in 1-1 draw vs. Ceara (June 20); 67 minutes in 1-0 loss vs. Atletico Mineiro (June 16)
-- Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes; MLS) - 23 minutes as a substitute in 0-0 draw at Austin FC (June 19)
-- Daryl Dike (Orlando City SC; MLS) - 26 minutes as a substitute in 3-2 win vs. Toronto FC (June 19)
-- Brad Guzan (Atlanta United; MLS) - 90 minutes in 2-2 draw vs. Philadelphia Union (June 20)
-- Bill Hamid (D.C. United; MLS) - 90 minutes and SHUTOUT in 1-0 win vs. Inter Miami CF (June 19)
-- Sean Johnson (New York City FC; MLS) - 90 minutes in 3-2 loss vs. New England Revolution (June 19)
-- Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; MLS) - 45 minutes and GOAL as a substitute in 2-0 loss at FC Cincinnati (June 19)
-- Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; MLS) – 89 minutes in 3-2 loss vs. Seattle Sounders (June 19)
-- Chris Mueller (Orlando City; MLS) - 19 minutes as a substitute and ASSIST in 3-2 win vs. Toronto FC (June 19)
-- David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; MLS) - 90 minutes in 3-1 win vs. draw at FC Dallas (June 18)
-- Andrés Perea (Orlando City; MLS) - 90 minutes and ASSIST in 3-2 win vs. Toronto FC (June 19)
-- Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; MLS) - 90 minutes in 2-2 draw vs. Philadelphia Union (June 20)
-- Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; MLS) - 90 minutes in 2-1 win at LA Galaxy (June 19)
-- Matt Turner (New England Revolution; MLS) - 90 minutes in 3-2 win at New York City FC (June 19)
-- Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; MLS) - 89 minutes in 2-0 win at FC Cincinnati (June 19)
-- Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; MLS) - 90 minutes in 0-0 draw at Austin FC (June 19)
-- Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; MLS) - 90 minutes and TWO GOALS in 2-0 win vs. Chicago Fire FC (June 19)
-- Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; MLS) - 63 minutes in 2-0 loss at New York Red Bulls (June 18)