Orlando City B (2-6-3, 11 points) was dominated by Columbus Crew 2 (10-2-0, 30 points) at Historic Crew Stadium in a 6-1 result. MLS NEXT Pro’s leading scorer, Jacen Russell-Rowe, led Crew 2 with two first-half goals. Nick Taylor provided OCB with a consolation goal.
OCB Head Coach Martin Perelman displayed an unexpected lineup for this one. After being on the bench last night in Orlando City’s 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo, Alex Freeman and Thomas Williams both started in Columbus. However, the lineup was missing two common names as Victor Yan was on the bench and team captain David Boccuzzo was left off the team sheet. It’s the second time this season Boccuzzo hasn’t started and the first time he wasn’t in the team. For Yan, it was the first time he hasn’t started since April 10 against Inter Miami II.
The game started evenly with both teams looking to gain control of the middle of the field. OCB got the first chance of the game in the fifth minute when the Young Lions won a pair of corners. The second corner found the head of Freeman in the box, but it was right at Crew 2 goalkeeper Patrick Schulte.
A minute later, Ethan Subachan found Jack Lynn in the box. The OCB striker took the ball outside instead of inside, eliminating his angle. Lynn was able to get a shot off, but Schulte was right there to make the stop.
Crew 2’s first good chance of the game came in the 16th minute and resulted in the first goal. A cross into the box landed at the feet of Alexandru Matan. The midfielder used some slick skill to avoid the surrounding defenders, creating enough space to find Noah Fuson. OCB goalkeeper Javier Otero got a piece of Fuson’s shot, but the ball got underneath him and into the net for the opening goal.
Just three minutes later, Crew 2 doubled the lead. A cross into the box bounced off the arm of Diego Pareja in the box. Referee Ricardo Fierro didn’t hesitate to point to the spot, awarding the hosts a penalty.
After some protesting by Moises Tablante and Ignacio Galvan, Crew 2 captain Marco Micaletto stepped up to take the kick. He sent Otero the wrong way, sliding the ball into the low left corner of the goal for a 2-0 Columbus lead.
Crew 2 scored their third goal of the first half and third in nine minutes in the 25th minute. A long ball down the right for Mo Farsi saw Crew 2 dive into an attack. The defenders were worried about the forward-most run, which allowed Russell-Rowe to trail behind unmarked. Farsi played it in for the striker, who put it away to make it 3-0.
Russell-Rowe and Lynn entered the game with nine goals apiece — joint leaders atop MLS NEXT Pro. The goal by Russell-Rowe saw the Columbus goal scorer take the league lead back after Lynn caught him with his goal in New England last weekend.
It appeared as though OCB had a chance in the 29th minute when Mauro Bravo sent Lynn through from near midfield. The Young Lions’ top goal scorer was through on goal with Schulte coming out but the assistant referee’s flag was up for offside.
Fuson nearly scored his second of the half in the 32nd minute. The midfielder found some space in the box and got a shot off towards the far post. The ball beat a diving Otero but not the post as it bounced off.
Unfortunately, the Young Lions were unable to clear and Columbus continued its attack. After receiving a pass back to him, Williams lost the ball as Russell-Rowe applied pressure, tapping the ball to Fuson. The midfielder sent it right back to Russell-Rowe who made a run behind Williams and into the OCB box. Otero came out to cut down his angle, but Russell-Rowe put it past him for his second goal of the game.
Another bad giveaway in the back by OCB in the 38th minute created an opportunity for Crew 2 to make it five. However, nobody in yellow was there to get on the end of the cross as it rolled harmlessly across the six-yard box.
OCB nearly got a goal back two minutes into injury time when Moises Tablante received the ball in the center of the box. The OCB attacker quickly fired on goal and it appeared to be headed in, but Schulte made a great save to keep his clean sheet.
As the 4-0 scoreline would indicate, the hosts led most statistical categories. Crew 2 finished the half with more possession (52.4%-47.6%), shots (11-8), shots on goal (5-3), crosses (3-2), and passing accuracy (85.1%-80%). However, the teams had the same number of corners (2-2) and split the duels (23-23).
After dominating the first half, Crew 2 got off to the better second-half start. In the 47th minute, Matan took a shot from outside the box that was blocked and Fuson missed a shot wide in the 50th minute.
Columbus scored its fifth goal in the 51st minute. It started when a shot wide of the target was stopped by Otero. However, the referee said that Otero took the ball over the line and awarded a corner kick. Had Otero let the ball roll out of play, it would’ve been a goal kick.
The ensuing corner was sent toward the near post, where it was flicked on for Ryan Telfer further back. Nobody was marking Telfer, who easily got his head to the ball and put it in for Crew 2’s fifth goal.
OCB has called on Otero to make some big saves this year and he made another great one in this game. In the 63rd minute, Matan got in on goal and took a shot from point-blank range. Otero came off his line and blocked the shot. The rebound went right to Fuson, who shot on goal, but Andrew Forth was there to block it.
Columbus was close to a sixth goal again in the 70th minute. Jake Morris’ cross found a head in the middle of the six-yard box, but the ball was just a bit high, glancing off the head of the attacker and going out on the other side.
OCB got a consolation goal in the 72nd minute. It was a combination of second-half substitutes, as Taylor received the ball on the left from Alejandro Granados. Taylor carried the ball toward the middle of the box and beat Schulte to the far post to make it 5-1.
In the 76th minute, Favian Loyola found Lynn in the box near goal. The striker had a chance to get the Young Lions back to within three but Schulte was there to make an outstanding save.
Tablante attempted to get a second goal for OCB in the 78th minute when he spotted Schulte off his line. Despite being on the right sideline and far from goal, Tablante took a chance but the ball went just over the crossbar.
Crew 2 got its sixth goal in the 84th minute. Colman Gannon’s cross found Isaiah Parente in the box, but his shot was blocked. The ball popped up where Issac Angking attacked it, heading it in for Crew 2’s sixth conversion.
With the Crew fans chanting “We want a touchdown,” it appeared as though Crew 2 scored a seventh in the 90th minute. Parente had the ball on the right and sent a low cross that was redirected in by Abdirizak Mohamed. However, Parente was offside on the initial ball and OCB escaped.
The Young Lions had one last chance to get a second goal two minutes into injury time when Lynn was sent through by Granados. Lynn turned the defender and created the space to get a shot on goal. But his shot was too close to Schulte, who made a nice save.
It was a dominant performance by Crew 2 as the hosts played OCB completely off the field. They had more possession (57.5%-42.5%), shots (26-15), and shots on goal (9-7). The only statistical categories led by OCB were duels won (49-44) and clearances (16-14).
The six goals conceded was the most by Otero this year. Additionally, he only had three saves, making it the second time in 11 games that he conceded more goals than he recorded saves. The other game was the 5-3 loss to FC Cincinnati 2 on May 29, when he had three saves and conceded five goals.
The six goals conceded equals the most in OCB history. The Young Lions previously conceded six goals on Oct. 7, 2017 against New York Red Bulls II, when they lost 6-5 at home. The five-goal loss sets a new team record for its largest defeat.
The Young Lions have now lost the first two matches of their four-game road trip. It continues next Saturday afternoon when OCB faces FC Cincinnati 2.