MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, Ohio, United States of America
Kickoff: 7:30 PM
Weather at Kickoff: 29 Celsius and Sunny
Match Attendance: 11,301
Eintracht Frankfurt (4-2-3-1): Lukas Hradecky, Jonathan De Guzman, Gelson Fernandes, Danny Blum, Sebastién Haller, David Abraham (C), Timmy Chandler, Danny Da Costa, Slobodon Medojevic, Taleb Tawatha, Daichi Kamada
Columbus Crew SC (3-4-2-1): Brad Stuver, Jonathan Mensah, Alex Crognale, Lalas Abubakar, Hector Jimenez, Mohammed Abu, Wil Trapp (C), Jukka Raitala, Cristian Martinez, Kekuta Manneh, Ola Kamara
Columbus Crew won a corner in the first three minutes, where Jonathan Mensah won the header but Lukas Hradecky made a great diving save to prevent an early goal. Just two minutes later, Kekuta Manneh found space and takes a shot, but Hradecky pushed it wide to concede another corner. Moments later, Timmy Chandler took the first shot for Frankfurt in the 7′ from midfield but it fell easily for Brad Stuver to deal with. After the first ten minutes, Eintracht Frankfurt appeared unsettled and uncomfortable, conceding far too many simple mistakes.
There was a possession deadlock in the midfield. The only true chance of the ten minutes was Sebastién Haller’s shot from the edge of the box in the 14′, but it still failed to truly threaten the Columbus goal. In the 18′ the first yellow card was shown after a hard tackle from Mohammed Abu, which left Taleb Tawatha down for a few moments.
The third interval wasted no time bringing the game back to life, in just the 21′ a shot on goal from David Abraham, but Brad Stuver managed to make a save. The momentum of the match started to shift into Frankfurt’s favor. Just five minutes later however the first goal of the match went to the Columbus Crew. Striker Ola Kamara converted the chance which was assisted by Cristian Martinez. Quick movement caught the Frankfurt defense exposed and outnumbered. Cristian Martinez crossed it over to Kamara who tapped a soft shot past a helpless Hradecky.
After the goal, things began to fall apart. Eintracht Frankfurt still appeared to be struggling to communicate. In three minutes, Timothy Chandler sent in three crosses. One went out on the other side of the pitch and the other two were snagged out of the air by goalkeeper Stuver. Late in the first half, Cristian Martinez became the second Crew SC player to see yellow after a late challenge on David Abraham, who stayed down for a moment but managed to walk off the pitch. As the halftime whistle blew, one could look back on Die Adler’s half and see the team having individual moments, but struggling to put it together as a team.
It took 13 minutes for any real action to happen in the second half, but in the 58′ Crew SC substitute Artur launched a shot, forcing a strong save from Hradecky. The ball landed at Waylon Francis’ feet as he took his chance at goal, but the rushed shot went high and wide. Hradecky looked out of position after the Artur save and was lucky to not concede a second goal.
Two thirds into the match, Frankfurt were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position. Jonathan De Guzman curved it well, but Stuver managed to make the save. As the match wore on, Columbus Crew were dominating in possession while Frankfurt sat back and contained the pressure. Francis took a long shot that was comfortable for Hradecky to deal with.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s sub Luka Jović saw yellow late into the match. Shortly after, a strong collision occurred in the 77′, leaving Martinez and Danny Da Costa both down injured. After a few minutes of stoppage for medical treatment, Columbus Crew took the freekick. The shot came from Nicolai Naess, but it went wide. Frankfurt sub Max Besuschkow took a long shot around the 79′ which went wide. A positive of the shot was it did get past Stuver, meaning if it were on frame it would have been the equalizer.
Minutes 80-Full Time
As the game came to a close, Besuschkow got Frankfurt’s best chance of the match, he found some space and took a shot, but Stuver came off his line and made a wonderful save (in a spot no man wants to be hit). The final play of the match came when Crew SC sub Connor Maloney crossed in trying to find runners, but Hradecky got to it quite comfortably.
Eintracht Frankfurt clearly needs to spend some sort of time bonding as a team. Throughout this match the squad failed to put together simple strings of possession. Besuschkow showed a lot of promise with the performance in the match. The former Stuttgart reserve team midfielder showcased distributing skills on both ends of the pitch as well as some goalscoring potential with the two best chances of the match for Frankfurt. The young German could be a breakout star this year for Die Adler.
Hradecky again proved to be the best player for Eintracht with his crucial saves throughout the match. He will be relied on as a key man in Die Adler’s pursuit of a successful season.
Timmy Chandler also showed why he is a reliable Bundesliga veteran with frequent tackles won, but his crossing could use improvement, as for many went high or failed to end up in a threatening position. It may be because it was just a friendly, but set plays (free kicks especially) were all inaccurate and questionable at best from Frankfurt, perhaps a specialist is worth targeting in the market this summer.
Eintracht Frankfurt Man of the Match: Lukas Hradecky
Crew SC Captain Wil Trapp:
I had the opportunity to talk to Columbus Crew SC Captain Wil Trapp about the match in the club dressing room, I asked him “What is the biggest difference in facing a Bundesliga side compared to a MLS side?” In his response, Trapp said “Well they (Frankfurt) are still in their preseason and working the kinks out for sure, but I would say the way they pressed, the movement, (and) the coordination of the team is different, but overall it wasn’t too different.”
Eintracht Frankfurt News
Eintracht Frankfurt have signed Dutch fullback Jetro Willems from Eredivisie club PSV Eindhoven. The 23-year-old international enjoyed a strong tenure at PSV, where he held a passing accuracy of 82% and won 64% of challenges this past season, per InStat reports. He also won a solid 77% of tackles and averaged 5 interceptions per match. The signing of Willems will leave Eintracht Frankfurt manager Niko Kovač hoping for some more security on his back line, and is likely to replace the departed Bastian Oczipka (Schalke) for the upcoming Bundesliga campaign.
Die Adler were without some of their most important players on their USA Tour. Fussballgott Alex Meier is sidelined with injury recovery and is also suffering from Lyme Disease, while newly signed Mexican international Carlos Salcedo underwent surgery following his June shoulder injury and is expected to miss three months. Finally, his Confederations Cup teammate for El Tri, Marco Fabian, was given a chance to recuperate before reporting to Eintracht Frankfurt later in training camp.
Crew Coach Gregg Berhalter, 43, is a former US international who has been in charge of the MLS side since 2013. The defender played over 180 league matches in Germany between 2002 and 2009 for Energie Cottbus and 1860 Munich.