Victory signed Evan Bush

American ‘keeper makes nine saves in win over Columbus

The disappointment was visible for the Bleu-blanc-noir following its loss to D.C. United last week, and that was especially true for goalkeeper Evan Bush. Despite putting on a good road performance, the Impact left Washington with a loss under its belt and its playoff future uncertain.

For the Ohio native and now long-time Montrealer, it was an unacceptable result. In the following week, the American goalkeeper spoke about how the team came short when it mattered most, and how it would have no choice but to bounce back against a tough opponent.

That’s exactly what the team did, shutting out the Columbus Crew SC at Stade Saputo to maintain its playoff position. No surprise that it was Evan Bush leading the charge.

“He’s very sensitive in a good way,” said midfielder Samuel Piette. “Every time we win, he’s happy, but when we lose, it gets to him. I’m happy for him and for the team. I think our reaction was perfect. We had to come out strong, and that’s what we did.”

The American netminder made a crucial save in the 14th minute with the game level, when Harrison Afful found space alone in front of net, but Bush made himself look big and managed to parry the effort aside. Then, minutes before the end of the half, it was Gyasi Zardes who found himself alone, but again his header was blocked by a well-positioned Bush.

“He saved us, especially in the beginning of the game, but he’s been good for the whole season,” said midfielder Saphir Taïder. “He’s a leader for a goalie. He showed us once again tonight how important he is for our group.

The bounce back performance for Bush is not surprising if you look at his season as a whole. His 32nd consecutive game started this season is an Impact record, and he’s set to become the first goalie to play every game in a season for the club since Pat Harrington did it in 1993.

His inclusion into this week’s MLS Team of the Week is his sixth this year so far, which came after his ninth shutout, tying another club record he himself set in 2015.

“I’m very proud of him, and very happy,” said head coach Rémi Garde after Saturday's game. “Proud of the work he’s done with Joël and the other ‘keepers. He played a big game for us Saturday. We knew we were facing a team that was able to create these types of dangerous scoring chances. We needed an excellent Evan in goal and that’s what we got tonight.”

The Impact will not play this weekend because of the international break, but it will be back in action to face its biggest rival, Toronto FC, at Stade Saputo, on Sunday, October 21, at 3pm (TVA Sports, TSN, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690). Excellent tickets remain available on impactmontreal.com