Crew v. Sounders: Notes and Grades

Duka shows a bit of the Crew's fighting spirit.

It was an outstanding win and one that the Crew fully earned through an outstanding defensive effort.

  • The constant shuffling on the back line has only underscored the depth this team has. Carlos Mendes was the fifth center back that has started this year.
  • The vaunted Sounders offense really didn't threaten the Crew. They did have 21 shots, but only 6 of them were on frame. The Crew had 5 shots with two on goal.
  • Cole Grossman waited for his chance and he's put together two good games in a row. He rarely put a foot wrong defensively.
  • Kevan George wasn't even scheduled to make the trip west, but Mirosevic's injury prompted the change. He was solid on the ball and made mostly smart decisions. Another very solid debut.
  • Emilio Renteria's touch is far too poor to allow him to be a target man. He had a poor game until his ambitous lob for a goal. Perhaps he'll gain some confidence.
  • Justin Meram continues his hot streak. He even had an all around better game than last Saturday. He continually pressed the defense and looked for his chances. Very decisive.
  • Tony Tchani played well on the right side. He did well to hassle the Sounders flank players.

Gruenebaum (7): Wasn't forced into too many saves, but he made them when he needed to.
Miranda (6): Improved to quiet down the Seattle left side, Fernandez faded throughout the night.
Mendes (6): Impressive first action in 2012. He was very solid against the always dangerous Montero.
Williams (6): Only one unsure moment when his clearance popped up and created a Sounders chance, but otherwise he was most impressive once again.
Vukovic (6): Improving defense and very solid with the ball at his feet.
Duka (7): He's clearly a game changer for the Crew. He created chances on offense and was nails tough on defense.
O'Rourke (6): Another good shift for Danny, but this time cut short with an ankle injury.
Grossman (6): He played more defensively than Mirosevic would have, but he was the perfect option for a counterattack based offense.
Meram (7): He certainly has swagger and his header took the wind out of Seattle. After pressing for the first 15 minutes, they didn't quite look the same after the goal.
Gaven (6): Started at forward but then moved out wide. He quietly worked to hold up the ball and pick out the next target.
Renteria (5): Not suited for target role. Terrible game throughout, but his chip was a sublime bit of genious that sealed the win.
George (6): Played a solid, simple game once coming on. Impressively, he was 13 of 13 on his passes. It was an impressive debut.
Tchani (6): Very good game as a defensive right winger in relief of Duka.
Anor (5): A quiet last 10 minutes as he worked to kill off the clock.
Coaching (7): Shuffled the lineup quite well considering it's a short week with cross country travel back home and Chicago looming on Saturday. He's getting recovering players the minutes to get back to 100% and the young players on the team have looked ready to step in when needed.

Note on Grades: I have set 5 as an average performance. The player had both good and bad events on the field. Under 5 is a disappointing performance. Above 5 is a notable performance.

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