In what seems like a lost season for the 2020 MLS Cup winners, the Columbus Crew have had a revelation appear in the midfield. Haitian international Derrick Etienne has been a star for the team despite the slow start.
Through the first 14 matches, Etienne has been electric, leaving his impact on the game and constantly creating chances for his squad. His 0.70 goals + assists per 90 minutes is tied for 18th best in the MLS, putting him in the upper echelon of players in the league.
Etienne has been great with supplying his teammates with great passes in the final third. As a result, he has five assists to his name, good for second in the MLS. For reference, in the last two seasons, Etienne had just six assists in 50 appearances for the Crew. He has been consistent in crossing the ball into the box for his teammates to put into the net.
Soon, he will be supplying club-record signing, forward Cucho Hernandez, and that assist number will surely go up. Etienne could push for the MLS assist title if he keeps up his form.
Etienne's creativity stems further than just supplying the passes for goals. The midfielder has also left his mark in the scoring department, scoring three goals for the Crew. His goals involve fast runs behind the defense and taking advantage of when the opposition overloads.
In addition, all three of his goals have had an amazing first touch before he blasted the ball into the back of the net. Etienne has quickly become one of the most underrated players in the MLS in terms of attacking.
His form is at an all-time high, and it was shown in his matches with the Haitian national team in the CONCACAF Nations League during the international break. Etienne scored two goals for Haiti against Guyana, and also picked up an assist in another match.
Going forward, with the signing of Cucho, the revelation of Etienne combined with the new signing could change the Crew's lost season and turn it into a success.