Columbus Crew v. New York Red Bulls: Notes and Grades

USA TODAY Sports

The Crew grab a point on the road with the help of a little controversy.

The Crew pull out another road draw, but still haven't beaten a team with a winning record this year.

  • The Red Bulls can score early and often so the makeshift defensive lineup could have been a disaster, but George was solid for a large part of the game and Gehrig provided steady management.
  • Dominic Oduro's injury status is still unknown, but the play of Aaron Schoenfeld provided a much different look. Schoenfeld is adept at playing with his back to goal and gave a presence for Federico Higuain to feed off of.
  • Eddie Gaven shows signs of breaking out into another good run of form. He was a menace on the right on both sides of the ball. Gaven has yet to score this year, but did add his fourth assist on the year.
  • Left wing still is a problem. Justin Meram got into good spots, but muffed two good chances at goal. His passing was poor as usual. Interestingly, he got to play forward, but still failed to impress.
  • Ben Speas returned to action, but didn't seem game fit yet. He could be the player that settles the left side if he shows those flashes of excellent on the ball skills he did earlier in the year.
  • Tony Tchani and Matias Sanchez managed to stymie Tim Cahill and Dax McCarty for the most part. Tchani still struggles with any sort of offensive pass and Sanchez again showed signs of becoming too aggressive.

Gruenebaum (6): Well positioned for what New York threw at him. Charged Henry to close down the angle and forced a very good play out of the Frenchman.
Williams (5): Kept Steele from making a bigger impact and was solid on the ball. Didn't add much in the offensive zone though.
Gehrig (5): Didn't get out of position often and was a calming presence next to George.
George (4): A couple of good plays including the heady goal line save. He was soundly beaten on Cahill's pass to Henry for the NYRB opener. Rushed to cover Olave after keeping to Espindola on the second goal. Poor reaction on the fake shot.
Wahl (5): New York didn't test his side as much as the right side. Handled Alexander for the most part.
Sanchez (5): Not as much impact on the defensive end but solid passing. He didn't have as many defense breaking attempts though.
Tchani (5): Quietly solid on defense as he covered considerable ground and kept Cahill and McCarty mostly quiet. His passing beyond 10 yards was shaky at best.
Gaven (7): Very active on both sides of the ball. He fed in two excellent passes and they both eventually lead to goals.
Higuain (7): Worked well off of Schoenfeld to spearhead several great chances in the first half.
Meram (3): Got into a couple very good scoring positions but was absolutely dreadful on the finishes. Earned a bit of a lucky penalty on the second one. Simply abysmal when trying to pass.
Oduro (NR): Brilliant play on the goal, but immediately came off injured.
Schoenfeld (6): Very good hold up play and moved around well. Pressured on defense. Only able to play 54 minutes before getting fatigued.
Speas (5): Not much of an impact as he is slowly getting back to match fitness.
O'Rourke (NR): 10 minutes to make an impact to solidify the defense, but wasn't much of a factor.
Coaching (4): Gambled with playing the tall and athletic George at center back and stuck with Meram for the second game in a row. Both decisions were puzzling.

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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