Megan Scribner, ColumbusCrewSC.com
Columbus Crew SC began a bang-bang week with a 1-0 victory over Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night. In a three-games, eight-day turnaround, the Black & Gold’s starting XI featured an average age of just 23.8 years, the youngest for Crew SC this season.
2018 MLS SuperDraft selection Luis Argudo contributed to the young line-up, making his first Major League Soccer and Crew SC start. The 22-year-old also opened the match with the kickoff and thus the first touch of the game.
The first half produced a frenzy of free and corner kicks from both sides but ultimately remained scoreless. A quick free kick from the Union in the 22nd minute had goalkeeper Zack Steffen show his athleticism with a diving save. In the 41st minute, defender Harrison Afful created the best chance for Columbus but was denied by the post.
Columbus opened the second half with a goal from Gyasi Zardes. Zardes took advantage of a Martinez cross that took a deflection and tapped in the game-winning goal — his sixth of the season and 40th of his career.
Columbus outshot Philadelphia 16 to 5, with four shots on-target. Columbus had 505 total passes, out-passing the Union 86 percent. Crew SC has scored in each of its six home games this season and Steffen recorded his first home shutout of 2018, with four total.
Crew SC returns to MAPFRE Stadium for Pups at the Pitch on Saturday, May 9. The Black & Gold will kickoff against the Chicago Fire at 7:30 p.m. ET.