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Crew v. D.C. United (Notes and Grades)

Arrieta and Gaven provided the offense.
Arrieta and Gaven provided the offense.
Fahmi/Massive Report

The Crew fell out of the playoff hunt off of a late goal.

  • The Crew showed tremendous energy and looked like they wanted the game more in the early going. Fatigue from the quick start took hold through the 2nd half.
  • The offense did well to score two goals, but it was shabby defense that let down the Crew. Two of the D.C. goals came off of instances where Columbus failed repeatedly to clear its lines.
  • The third goal is one of those counterattacking specials. It's hard to keep the lines when everyone is looking for the winning goal.
  • That said, the Crew consistently look lost when they take off a defender for an attacker. The back line is a bit stretched, but the midfield falls apart.
  • The central defending pair of Carlos Mendes and Danny O'Rourke didn't appear entirely comfortable; there were a few instances of communication mixups. I'm sure they aren't a usual practice pair.
  • Federico Higuain got his first assist in 7 games, and his work rate was excellent as usual. He's capable of creating magic, but several of his passes were flubbed, killing chances.
  • Jairo Arrieta and Eddie Gaven are tied for the team lead with 9 goals. Arrieta can create his own shot and Gaven is excellent at finding pockets of space and turning up at the right time.
  • Justin Meram and his replacement, Dilly Duka weren't effective on the wing. Each relies on the ability to dribble past opponents and open up the defense. That wasn't working on Saturday.
Gruenebaum (6): Solid game, none of the goals can come down to his errors and he did have several good stops. Still looks for the long outlet and that hampers the offense.
Miranda (5): Not spectacular on defense as D.C. was able to come down his side a bit too easily. Pushed up a little more effectively, but didn't create much.
Mendes (5): Active as he had 10 clearances and 5 interceptions. Passing was sharp. Still didn't look completely solid.
O'Rourke: (5): Stayed at home a bit more, but was still careful with the ball.
Williams (5): Pushed up high to overlap on the left. He was an option, but didn't create much when called upon. Unspectacular on defense.
Birchall (4): Sloppy passing as usual. Often looked long to spur an attack, but his his turnovers killed off several instead.
Mirosevic (6): Found the ball quite a bit and looked to play simple linking passes to keep the offense moving. Tired as the game went on and he drifted a bit.
Gaven (7): Stayed wider than usual, but was his effective self. He again found space and finished his chance when it came.
Meram (5): Passing improved, but he often would look to dribble and got caught out. He was lax on his clearance, enabling the United's 2nd goal.
Higuain (6): Often forced deeper to pick up the ball, he still was able to create a few moments. Agressive as usual to find the game.
Arrieta (7): Excellent movement all night to find the channels and space to play the ball. Great bit of skill to create separation to get his shot off for the Crew's 2nd
Duka (4): Much like Meram, his passing was a bit better, but he often tried to make things happen on his own. Didn't work.
Renteria (5): Mostly anonymous during his sub appearance. Only had 8 touches and 6 passes in 17 minutes.
Tchani (NR): Too late to really create much in the way of offense.
Coaching (6): Columbus came out firing and had a lead at halftime. Very much the right choice on the subs, it's too bad that none of them were game changers (or even modifiers). Right call to push for the win. A tie did nothing for the Crew with the tiebreakers against them.

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.