Columbus Crew 2 is now riding a two-game winning streak after taking care of business on the road in Chester, PA, where it defeated Philadelphia Union II by a 1-0 margin at Subaru Park.

Crew 2 striker Jacen Russel-Rowe opened his MLS NEXT Pro account in the 56th minute for the difference-maker. In the aftermath of a Union II corner, winger Alexandru Matan went above Union II goalkeeper Stuart Findlay’s reach to set Russel-Rowe up with the golden opportunity that he clinically headed home at point-blank.

Columbus Crew 2 head coach Laurent Courtois should walk away pleased with how his side performed. Sunday's contest was a close one throughout the entire 90 minutes. Both sides ended with three shots on target, but Crew 2's 82% passing accuracy rate on a whopping 620 passes saw them comfortable in possession and was the key to the victory.

The win is set to shake up the MLS NEXT Pro Power Rankings. Philadelphia Union II was one of the few unbeatens left in the league heading into the weekend. Crew 2’s two-game winning streak, both wins earned on the road, broadcast that they are ready to jump into the elite of the Eastern Conference.

The Story: Refreshed Crew 2 slows the Union II buzzsaw 

Philadelphia Union II’s five goals in the first two weeks proved them to be candidates for the most dangerous team in the MLS NEXT Pro ranks, and you probably did not predict that they would be shut out coming off last weekend’s thriller in Ft. Lauderdale.

Crew 2 has shown growth week to week, and Sunday’s performance saw them effectively hold what they had once the lead was earned. Prior to the match, the club shared that it added Matan, Aidan Morris, Will Sands, and MLS veteran Josh Williams to the roster.

Morris and Williams were starters in Columbus Crew’s 2020 MLS Cup victory, and when available, will serve as key players in Crew 2’s defensive spine. Morris was good for a 90% passing clip, Williams ended with 94%, and Matan’s assist on the game-winning goal showed the decision paid immediate dividends and went a long way in earning a result the team should be proud of.

The momentum is hitting at a good time, too. Crew 2 has had to wait for their home opener and gets to carry the benefit of a two-game winning streak into their first home game on Friday against Orlando City B, which has yet to win on the road.