Columbus Crew v. D.C. United: Notes and Grades

USA TODAY Sports

Arrieta returns and Columbus dominates D.C. United with a 3-0 win.

The Crew offense finally looked threatening. It was a display that happened to come against the worst defense in the league.

  • The offense finally shined, but it was up against one of the worst defenses in the league. New York will provide a sterner test next week.
  • Jairo Arrieta was the key to opening up the game. He showed his excellent balance of tenacity and skill. He set up all three goals through his work.
  • D.C. gave Federico a lot of room. Perry Kitchen marked him when he was in the center, but he Higuain often got free when he drifted touchline to touchline.
  • Eddie Gaven and Dominic Oduro threatened from the wings consistently. Both showed excellent intelligence in their movement as Gaven was a pest on defense and Oduro's run earned him a goal.
  • Tony Tchani and Danny O'Rourke was a solid partnership with O'Rourke doing the heavy lifting on defense and Tchani looking to move the ball forward. Tchani's forward movements were mixed however.
  • United had 21 shots, but the defense didn't allow too many good looks at goal. Most were from distance and didn't trouble Andy Gruenebaum. The active Columbus defense blocked 7 of the shots.

Gruenebaum (6): Another set of fine stops, but wasn't really tested by the anemic United offense.
Williams (6): Much better on both sides of the ball as he moved forward with intelligence. He is a terror on set pieces.
Marshall (7): Dominant again. Nothing phased he continues his very good 2013 campaign.
Glauber (6): Still prone to being attacked at pace and gave up a foul late, but slowly looking more comfortable.
Viana (5): Limited action before he was injured, but was solid defensively.
O'Rourke (7): Ever-present throughout the middle of the field. He freed Tchani to be a little more attacking.
Tchani (5): Mixed performance, but certainly tried to do more with the ball going forward than Viana. He didn't connect as many passes, but he tried more forward balls.
Oduro (7): Excellent coming into space and using his speed when he was isolated on Woolard. Great run on the goal scoring.
Higuain (7): D.C. gave him space and time and he made the most of it. A goal and an assist breaks his streak of pointless games.
Gaven (7): Very aggressive on both sides of the ball. He picked up a key interception early to set the tone and his passing was impeccable, especially his 60 yard bomb to set up goal number two.
Arrieta (8): No goals, but he was indefatigable leading the line. He set up all three goals through his hold up play and ability to get into space.
Wahl (6): A positive game. He wasn't asked to go forward as often and was dependable on defense.
Warzycha (NR): Tactical sub to solidify the middle.
Sanchez (NR): Relief for O'Rourke on a yellow card.
Coaching (6): Bringing on Arrieta was the obvious choice, but Tchani also had a quiet impact, being a little more offensive than the previous double pivot. The tactical shifts paid off.

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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