Crew @ Toronto - Notes and Grades

Gehrig had an outstanding game as the surprise starter. (Tom Szczerbowski/US Presswire)

The Crew scraped by and got their 2nd ever win in Toronto. The game was a scrappy affair that relied on a bend but not break defense. The counterattack worked sporadically as the Crew struggled to break quick enough to catch Toronto's wingbacks. Toronto did have 55% of possession, but used it ineffectively. They would dump cross after cross into the box, but the defense, led by Marshall cleaned those up.

  • The Crew game plan was obviously to try and break quickly on the counterattack. The defense would defend in two tight blocks of four. One forward would often drop back on defense to provide even more defensive pressure.
  • The forwards would also high press. This didn't create too many turnovers but it did slow down the pace of the Toronto attack.
  • Mirosevic was impressive. He was influential on both sides of the ball. He played outstanding defense and had the most touches on the team. His penalty was well taken and unfortunate to have it saved.
  • Urso struggled again. He sprayed the ball around considerably and scuffed a clearance that gave Koevermans an open shot on goal. His corners were solid however.
  • The Crew commanded the defensive 18 yard box. Gruenebaum was outstanding in traffic. Marshall and surprise starter Eric Gehrig formed a tenacious duo, cleaning up the many Toronto clearances.
  • Vargas played a complete game. He played solid passes and worked off the ball. He didn't get much service and only got off one shot.

The Grades:

Gruenebaum (7): 3 Saves, 2 Catches, 87% passing
Miranda (6): 69% passing 1/2 crossing
Marshall (7): 6 interceptions, 15 clearances
Gehrig (7): 3 interceptions, 7 clearances
Francis (6): 56% passing, 4 blocked crosses
Gaven (5): 0/1 crossing, 0 shots
Urso (5): 52% passing, 3/4 corners
Mirosevic (7): 102 touches, 72% pass, 4 tackles
Anor (6): 1 goal, 0/1 crosses
Vargas (6): 43 touches, 1 shot, 86% passing, 3 fouls won
Renteria (6): 49 touches, 1 shot, 56% passing, 2 fouls won
Williams (6): 4 touches, 1 clearance
Schoenfeld (6): 7 touches, yellow card, 1 foul won
Finlay (NR): 7 touches, 1/3 passing
Warzycha (6): The 4-4-2 setup is working quite well. He also has a defense to rely on for the counterattacking game plan he set up.

Crew Man of the Match: Marshall was his normal understated dominant self. The entire Crew defense deserves recognition for the fine performances all the way around.

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