Crew v. Quakes: Notes and Grades

USA TODAY Sports

The Crew moved to 1-1-1 after giving up the tying goal in the second half.

The Crew drop a late lead and looked a lot like last year's group as they dropped points at home.

  • Federico Higuain was popping up everywhere in the San Jose half of the field. He often does this, but he suffered from lack of support with Viana and O'Rourke playing behind him.
  • Higuain looked best when he was able to drift out to the left. He's adept at picking the ball up out wide and slashing in. Ben Speas did his best Eddie Gaven impression and worked well to switch spots.
  • Oduro shows flashes of promise, but that's the book on him, a lack of consistency. He also doesn't cut in as effectively as Gaven or Speas has on the left. It limits his value on offense.
  • Viana and O'Rourke played too similar of a role against San Jose. They both played as screeners in front of the defense with rare breaks forward. When one of them did break forward it was O'Rourke. Essentially the Crew were outnumbered in the final third.
  • The defense was solid against the threat of Wondolowski. He did slip free a couple times, but the back line did limit the danger to a couple of contested shots.
  • The goal the Crew did give up showed how they are vulnerable to the quick switch. They were narrow, compressed to the left half of the field, and a pass from Wondolowski found Morrow wide open. Williams had tried to close the ball down and Finlay was slower to return to his position after the last attack after he switched with Higuain.
  • Part of the issue stems from the effort the fullbacks put in. Wahl and Williams are required to provide width to a narrow team. Pushing forward often leaves spacing issues with the rest of the defense.

Gruenebaum (6): Well positioned to deal with San Jose's attack; making several easy saves. Covered the goal on Morrow's shot, but he hit it where Andy wasn't.
Williams (5): Moved forward quite often, but wasn't too effective. Solid defensively; the goal came from his side, but the team often plays narrow on the far side.
Marshall (6): Corralled Jahn and aside from one sequence, shackled Wondolowski.
Glauber (5): Mixed day on defense as Wondolowski was able to slip past him a couple times, but the goal was a well-executed move into open space.
Wahl (4): Struggled going forward and his marker, Salinas, found quite a bit of space.
O'Rourke (5): Solid on defense, but pushed a little higher on offense which isn't his strong suite.
Viana (5): A solid first half on the ball, but added very little going forward.
Oduro (5): Flashes of his skillset as he took a couple quick outlets from the back, but wasn't able to create. Much of the play happened on the left.
Higuain (6): Popped up everywhere in the middle and final third trying to get play started. Worked well with Speas, but the Quakes did well to collapse on him.
Speas (6): Started brightly as he interchanged with Higuain quite well. He tired in the second half and wasn't as effective.
Arrieta (5): Starved for service and tired as the game went on, but tried to make the most of his opportunities.
Tchani (5): Scattershot performance has he was tasked with pushing forward to add to the offense, but didn't create much.
Finlay (6): Strong performance in relief has he looked to attack tired defenders.
Meram (4): Slow to make decisions and often tries to be a little too flashy where simple is better.
Coaching (5): Quick to try and change the formula, recognizing a tiring Viana had lost sharpness and Tchani would be better going forward than O'Rourke. Finlay added some speed and aggressiveness that Oduro was lacking. Meram's introduction was worth a chance as he has shown he can be a game breaker as a sub.

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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