Crew v. Impact: Notes and Grades

USA TODAY Sports

The Crew had a plan on defense. The offense struggled on the counter.

The Crew came in with a plan to shut down the Impact offense. It worked, but the Crew failed to convert their chances and scraped to a draw.

  • It was clear early how Robert Warzycha wanted to shut down the Impact offense. Danny O'Rourke and Agustin Viana were tasked with closing down Patrice Bernier as quickly as possible and cutting out any chances to pass forward.
  • Federico Higuain and Dominic Oduro were used to press the Montreal back line. Warzycha didn't want Alessandro Nesta getting comfortable on the ball. The lack of offense by Montreal in the first half it a testament to how well it worked.
  • Montreal moved to "Plan B" in the second and that was to push the ball wide. They attacked the left side with Mapp exploiting the space behind a pinched in Gaven and ruthlessly attacking Josh Williams one v. one. Montreal looked dangerous until Mapp was lifted.
  • The Crew offense looked dangerous late in the first half as the pressing paid off. Higuain had a golden chance borne out of a turnover caused by the press.
  • The rest of the best chances came off of set pieces. Chad Marshall had two golden chances to score, but put one just wide and struck one right at Troy Perkins.

Gruenebaum (6): He was only beaten by the Di Vaio screamer and made the plays required.
Williams (4): Justin Mapp found plenty of room against Williams until being lifted. Always a step late against the craft vet.
Marshall (6): Di Vaio didn't get much past Marshall as he played him mostly to a stalemate.
Glauber (5): More dependable defense with fewer moments of concern.
Wahl (5): Can look unsure with the ball at his feet and didn't add much on offense. Defense was unspectacular and mostly solid.
O'Rourke (6): Industrious with some solid passes to kick off an offensive move. Shackled Bernier.
Viana (6): The Montreal midfield wasn't able to create much. He and O'Rourke kept Bernier quiet.
Gaven (6): Kept doing the little things to keep possession or get into dangerous space. Nice touch to free Higuain for his breakaway.
Higuain (6): Dangerous service and was ever-present in the offensive half of the field.
Speas (4): Wasn't involved in the game for long stretches and looked shaky when he was. His first truly subpar game of the year.
Oduro (6): Magnificent play to score the goal, but wasn't a factor for large stretches of the game. Impact did well to minimize his speed.
Arrieta (5): The Costa Rican looked sluggish in relief. He's played 63 minutes since his last start against San Jose a month ago.
Finlay (5): A lot of energy, but not much in the way of results during his sub appearance.
George (5): He is a master of staying within himself. Played the percentages well as he was always looking for the safe pass first to keep possession.

Coaching (5): Viana and O'Rourke kept Bernier from running the Impact offense. Oduro scores again. A little slow to try and switch up. Speas especially looked to have an off game.

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