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Philly vs. Columbus - Grades and Notes

Just like everything on Saturday, the Crew were a little short.
Just like everything on Saturday, the Crew were a little short.

It was a very predictable game with predictable results. Once the starting lineups came out, it was apparent that the Crew would quickly move to long ball offense. The team oblidged.

  • The defense had relatively little work to do on the day. The Union only had 8 shots, 2 on goal. The penalty was an unfortunate play, but Philly had two legitimate handball claims, one was called.
  • The Crew actually had the majority of possession, more passes, and more complete passes. The vast majority were in the middle third. The Crew hovered around 50% completion rate in the final third.
  • Delving further into the Opta stats, it's clear that many of the passes out of the defensive third were launches forward. Only 7 of Gruenebaum's 26 passes were short. His completion percentage was 54%. Hard to build possession that way.
  • Aaron Schoenfeld and Olman Vargas may have had little to work with, but they were also prone to being in each other's space. They often times made the same runs, further concentrating the defense.
  • Emilio Renteria saw 22 minutes, but he didn't get off a single shot and struggled with his touch coming off the bench.
  • The wide midfielders struggled once again. Gaven is struggling, only getting in one cross all game long. Finlay had two before being withdrawn. Anor flubbed a chance late in the game. They desperatly needed to provide width, but often tucked in.
  • Kirk Urso plays a fairly tidy game in posession, but is struggling on the defensive side. Mirosevic is often coming back to help out or pick up the ball. It's further hurting the team's spacing.
  • Gruenebaum (5): Wasn't asked to do much and a Panenka chipped PK makes any keeper look silly. Would rather see him play the ball short, but I think this is game plan rather than player choice.
    Miranda (6): Philly got several crosses in off of his side, but they were often of low quality. Two crosses and 93 touches.
    Marshall (6): Struggling to work with Gehrig, and did bail him out when he lost his marker. Often looked long when passing. 5 tackles, 4 interceptions, 4 clearances
    Gehrig (5): A mixed game as he was rightfully called for a penalty and was pushed off the ball a couple of times. 2 tackles, 2 blocks, 4 interceptions
    Francis (5):
    Gaven: (3): Must be providing more offensive pressure. Even with 92 touches, he looked lost and only sent in one cross all game.
    Mirosevic (4): Defensively adept, but little ability to move forward. A stat line of one shot and four tackles isn't what is needed from the offensive minded maestro.
    Urso (4): Only had one tackle and two interceptions as the defensive midfielder. Often needed help to avoid getting overrun. Set piece service was solid.
    Finlay (4): Didn't create much, but didn't see the ball often.
    Schoenfeld (4): Struggled to see much of the ball and didn't do much with it when he got it. A good look at goal, one shot, but that was blocked
    Vargas (5): Three shots and 58 touches. More successful at the long ball tactics than Schoenfeld.
    Anor (5): A spark of energy off the bench. 2 shots, including a late miss. One unsuccessful cross.
    Renteria (5): Not much of the spark that was needed, but
    Vukovic (6): Was a spark, adding width to the left side as he pushed up often. His crossing was mixed, but he showed some defensive mettle as he tracked back well.
    Warzycha (3): Confusing lineup and apparently tactics. Crew looked to go direct and comments about "second balls" made it sound like it was the strategy.

    Note on Grades: Scale is out of 10. 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.