Crew v. Chivas USA: Notes and Grades

USA TODAY Sports

The Crew took care of business on the road. Chivas was a bad team and good teams beat bad teams.

Apologies, a terrible cold has killed any free time. Without further delay, the notes and grades.

  • The Crew looked lost against the Chivas 3-5-2 early in the game as they played long ball to bypass the packed midfield. It failed to play to the strengths of Columbus as Federico Higuain didn't see the ball in dangerous situations.
  • The team made a concerted effort to play from the back in the second half. The first goal comes out of a pass from Gruenebaum to start the attack. Warzycha must have seen that the five man midfield wasn't as formidable as they expected.
  • The rest of the second half, the team chose their spots to counter a pressing Chivas USA team. Columbus didn't look in danger of giving up a goal, but the two insurance goals ensured the win.
  • Chivas worked hard to hack down the Crew skill players. Higuain, Arrieta, and Gaven were all pummeled. It was so bad that Pipa was lifted with a one goal lead in the 77th minute.
  • The defense looked quite solid. The main chances came from a bad Danny O'Rourke giveaway that Glauber, caught back, kept onside.
  • Agustin Viana and O'Rourke certainly gave the Crew a very tenacious defense midfield that covered a lot of ground and forced Chivas to play wider. By OPTA's count between them, they had 21 recoveries, 7 interceptions, and 6 clearances.

Gruenebaum (6): Very fine saves and an excellent performance when called upon. He often looked short for his distribution in the first half. Started the goal scoring series with a pass out of the back to Williams, but soon looked to play long.
Williams (7): Looked mostly comfortable at his new home at right back. He moved up and down the byline all night. He was very dangerous on set pieces and may be the Crew's top threat among quite a few threats.
Marshall (7): Very strong performance as he's fit after ankle surgery. He may have had only 57 touches, leaving more of the work to Glauber and Williams, but he was unbeatable when tested.
Glauber: (6): Caught back when O'Rourke had his bad giveaway. He does play deeper due to his lack of speed, but he was rarely caught out on the odd chance that Chivas attacked.
Wahl (6): A good start for the new left back. He showed his ability in attack; wasn't tested by the anemic Chivas offense.
O'Rourke (5): A couple of bad giveaways overshadowed a solid game. He did pale in comparison to the outstanding Viana.
Viana (7): He was outstanding in cleaning things up in the middle. 12 recoveries, 11 headers! (the Crew had 38 on the night), 4 interceptions, and he lead the team with 128 touches. Only issue was his his low passing rate, but most of that was due to playing forward balls.
Oduro (6): A mixed game from Oduro as he's still integrating to the offense. He showed his speed and ability to get into space. His finishing, always the question, held him back until the very end.
Higuain (7): Proved that his 2012 cameo was no fluke, Higuain was the center of the team's offense once they stopped playing long ball. His play in the entire goal sequence was excellent. Pushing the ball upfield, getting into space to get the ball back, the finish was sublime.
Gaven (6): A quietly solid performance out of Gaven. He adapted well to playing on his weaker side, cutting in often and giving Wahl space to work. Well taken corner for the assist.
Arrieta (5): Appeared a little rusty. He wasn't involved in play much as the team ran through Higuain, Oduro, and Gaven for the most part, but still got off three shots.
Finley (5): Got into a couple dangerous spots, but his final move let him down. It's a promising start for the rookie.
Tchani (6): Solid outing replacing Higuain. Certainly not the creator that the Argentine is, but worked as more of a two way midfielder to close out the game.
Coaching (6): Warzycha chose to play direct to deal with the Chivas 3-5-2 in the first half to poor effect. Team came out playing shorter in the second half and looked much better, leading to the goal.

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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