Columbus at Portland - Notes and Grades

Gaven and company hoped to steal three points.

It was a scoreless tie with end to end action, but a lack of good chances. A tie was a fair result. Niether team looked like they were ready to break out of their scoring slump.

  • Milovan Mirosevic hasn't been the influential offensive maestro the Crew have been looking for, yet. He's certainly looked much better with O'Rourke playing behind him.
  • Emilio Renteria has another subpar game. He was nearly invisible, lost posession far too easily, and didn't get off a shot all game.
  • Ethan Finlay was expected to provide some pace to the Crew attack, but he often went missing for long stretches. He did look good for the first 20 minutes as Columbus had the better stretch.
  • Eddie Gaven is starting to look like the Gaven of old. He's especially quick when he gets into the open field and can drive at defenders. He was the spark to several Crew counterattacks.
  • Nemanja Vukovic has been a clear upgrade at left back. His defense is very solid and he's very comfortable getting forward.
  • Josh Williams put together another good game in the heart of defense. He was in command, keeping Kris Boyd in check. He's also very dangerous on the offensive end.
  • The Crew still play a little too narrow. Vukovic provides some width on the left, but Tchani and Miranda don't stretch the right side often enough. It allows the defense to stay compact.

Gruenebaum (7): Several outstanding saves kept the game at a scoreless tie.

Miranda (6): Solid game on defense, but didn't make an impact when he pushed up on the wing.

Gehrig (4): Late starter due to Marshall's head injury. Struggled at times with the pace of play. Looked a little lost and sprayed his passes, but settled as the game went along.

Williams (7): Confident performance as the new leader in the heart of the defense. Tied up Kris Boyd well.

Vukovic (6): Solid defensivly and created chances going forward.

Tchani (5): Active on the defensive side of the ball, but limited going forward. He is still very prone to bad fouls.

O'Rourke (6): More solid play, he was pretty sharp on the ball and with his passes. His turnovers were pretty bad however.

Mirosevic (5): Saw a lot of the ball, but wasn't instrumental in play. He did have the best Crew chance of the night, but his header was saved off the line.

Gaven (6): Showed flashes as he dashed on counterattacks. Gaven is best with his shifty open field running and able to spearhead an offensive move.

Finlay (5): Showed flashes, but saw little of the ball overall. He wasn't able to use his speed as much as expected.

Renteria (4): Touch was off and he didn't make an impact. He's not making a strong case to return to the starting lineup.

Meram (4): Didn't look sharp in his first league action this year. Will need to improve to see more playing time.

Anor (5): Didn't make much of an impact in his 11 minutes on the field. Still has a ways to go to consistently push for playing time.

Francis (NR): Little time to make an impact.

Coaching (5): A very short roster and made the best of a difficult situation. Poor performances by Renteria and Meram and a solid one out of Williams vindicated his recent lineup choices a bit.

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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