Columbus Crew finish in 0-0 draw vs Real Salt Lake without multiple regular starters

It was a very different lineup on the field for the Crew as they took on Real Salt Lake on the road Saturday at the end of a 15-day stretch with five games.

Amid a lineup shake-up, the Crew walked out of Salt Lake City with a 0-0 draw despite being outshot 17-12 overall and 8-5 on shots on goal.

“I was expecting what we did today,” said Crew coach Wilfried Nancy. “We didn’t win, but in terms of performance, it was a good performance. … I don’t like to put the team (on the field) by default, I put the team because I trust them. I trust my players as they know how to play.”

While the Crew’s Sean Zawadzki and Alex Matan returned to the starting lineup following respective injuries, Nancy gave rest days to starters Darlington Nagbe and Patrick Schulte. Additionally, the Crew were without Cucho Hernandez, who was suspended for the match due to a red card against D.C. United last Saturday.

The game marked the first starts of the season for defender Philip Quinton and midfielder Taha Harborne. For the 18-year-old Harborne, it was his first appearance with the Crew since signing a first team contract in January.

Without starting goalkeeper Schulte, who made two penalty kick saves against Tigres in one of the biggest performances in his career on Tuesday night, veteran goalkeeper Evan Bush started.

During the first 25 minutes of the match, Bush recorded three saves, two on shots on goal. This matched his save total from his other start of the season against Charlotte FC on March 23.

The strong performance from Bush was cut short following a physical sequence of events that concluded with a collision with Salt Lake’s Diego Luna within the Crew’s goal box.

Bush was originally taken down while attempting to stop Salt Lake’s Matt Crooks from scoring off a cross from Andres Gomez. The Crew’s Malte Amundsen then cleared the ball from the box and Luna’s momentum took him into Bush, who was on the ground.

“I didn’t see it that well,” Amundsen said. “Other than he landed and got hit somewhere, I didn’t see a lot. I just saw that he was in pain, and I hope that it’s not bad.”

After being evaluated by medical staff for what Nancy suspects is a wrist injury, Bush was taken out of the game and goalkeeper Nicholas Hagen made his first MLS appearance, entering the match in the 35th minute.

“Your heart starts pumping really quick, really fast,” Hagen said about entering the match. “But it’s something you have to adjust, try to control and try to get in the game as fast as you can.”

In the first half, there was little action for Hagen, but once the second half began Salt Lake had its fair share of opportunities that resulted in saves.

Playing at around 4,500 feet above sea level was a factor of the game that Hagen already had experienced while playing in his native Guatemala.

“When you’re far from home, it goes away, so you have to get readjusted,” Hagen said. “But at the end of the day, you have some knowledge or some experience in it. So, I tried to bring that into the field and help the guys out.”

Of the eight Crew saves, three came from Hagen, starting at the 50-minute mark with a stop of a header from Cristian Arango.

There was no shortage of yellow cards for either team. By the end of regulation, there were nine yellows handed out, three to the Crew.


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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Columbus Crew vs Real Salt Lake finish in scoreless draw

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