Both sides had solid chances but neither could convert as the Union and the Crew met on a cold Chester day for a scoreless draw.
Union first XI: Andre Blake; Keegan Rosenberry, Auston Trusty, Jack Elliott, Fabinho; Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya; David Accam, Borek Dockal, Fabian Herbers; C.J. Sapong
Crew first XI: Zack Steffen, Harrison Afful, Lalas Abubakar, Jonathan Mensah, Milton Valenzuela, Pedro Santos, Artur, Cristian Martinez, Wil Trapp, Federico Higuaín, Gyasi Zardes
The first half saw the Union start brightly as they maintained possession for long stretches and made Columbus chase. When Columbus did get the ball, the back line of Rosenberry, Trusty, Elliott, and Fabinho (and later Ray Gaddis, who came on at half for Fabinho who suffered a leg injury) made life easy for goalkeeper Andre Blake, who wasn’t troubled much the whole match. The Crew’s offensive strategy in the first thirty minutes was mainly hitting long balls and hoping Gyasi Zardes could get on the end of it, as their outside backs largely stayed home to deal with Union speedster David Accam (who they largely bottled up on this day). The Union for their part mostly settled for shooting from outside the box, with multiple offerings from both newcomer Borek Dockal and Haris Medunjanin sailing harmless over the crossbar. The first half ended with just one corner for each team, and the Union with 55 percent possession.
The second half saw a bit of a reversal, with Columbus growing into the match and carrying more of the ball. Federico Higuaín was his usual dangerous self, passing the ball with precision and creating what chances there were to be created, but nothing of note could be made of them. Several times in the second half, David Accam danced through defenders only to have the ball bounce or not beat the last man. (Dockal acknowledged after the match that they need to make use of Accam’s speed and the space behind the opposing back four much better going forward). Ultimately, neither team could break through, and each team went home with an early point.