Columbus Crew 2 entered Matchweek 18 with the best home record during the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro season and that theme continued Sunday as Laurent Courtois’ side rolled to three points in the Game of the Week.
Michael Vang scored his first two league goals of the season to propel Crew 2 past New England Revolution II by a 4-1 scoreline at Historic Crew Stadium, moving to 7-1-0 at home this season. The home victory extended Crew 2’s unbeaten run to seven matches and also moved them nine points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Crew 2 dominated possession in the early going and were rewarded with an opening goal in the 15th minute. Ryan Telfer’s shot in the box was denied by Earl Edwards Jr, but Michael Vang arrived in the box to slam home the rebound.
Vang doubled Crew 2’s lead in the 30th minute, once again scoring on a rebound after Revolution 2 could not clear their box.
Revs II cut the deficit in half just before halftime as Marcos Dias picked up a pass from Michael DeShields and delivered a low drive into the bottom-right corner of Patrick Schulte’s net.
However, Crew 2 would regain their two-goal advantage in the 43rd minute as DeShields watched as a corner kick into the box deflected in off of the center back.
Despite added possession for Revs II in the second half, Crew 2 would extend their lead further in the 74th minute as Will Sands connected with Coleman Gannon in the box on a perfectly-placed cross. Gannon’s one-time finish nestled in the bottom corner, giving Crew 2 a 4-1 advantage.
Schulte finished the match with five saves for Crew 2, playing a key role in the lopsided home win.
Both teams are back in action on July 31 with New England Revolution 2 hosting Toronto FC II while Columbus Crew 2 visits Philadelphia Union 2 in Week 19's Game of the Week.
The Story: Vang’s inclusion leads to Man of the Match performance
Michael Vang was not scheduled to start in Laurent Courtois’ squad on Sunday night, but after an injury in warm-ups, Vang got the starting nod and proceeded to deliver a Man of the Match performance.
Vang scored his first two MLS NEXT Pro goals in a 4-1 triumph over New England Revolution II, showing his clinical ability in the box. Both of Vang’s goals came after the 22-year-old arrived on the spot to slot home rebound attempts, helping Crew 2 pad a comfortable first-half advantage that would lead to three points.
Vang had only started in five of his 13 appearances to date this season, but after delivering two goals in a 15-minute span, the midfielder might’ve boosted his stock going forward this summer. Not only did Vang net his first two goals of the season, he led all players in the match with six shots and two shots on goal, while also contributing six duels won.
Crew 2 has continued to roll this summer, padding their lead atop the Eastern Conference standings. With Jacen Russell-Rowe and Mohamed Farsi both eligible for first-team involvement in Caleb Porter’s squad, Vang could be a key attacker for Crew 2 to rely on as the regular season moves forward.