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Crew v. FC Dallas: Notes and Grades

The Crew had something worth celebrating (Fahmi/
The Crew had something worth celebrating (Fahmi/

The Crew break a five game losing streak and do it behind some impressive goals.

  • Tony Tchani's error was monumental, but with a very tight roster due to injuries, he may be back at right wing again. He's shown a distinct lack of soccer intelligence at times and he's miscast out wide. He doesn't add much to the offense.
  • Danny O'Rourke and Milovan Mirosevic continue to improve in the middle of the field. Mirosevic is showing increased confidence to get into attack with O'Rourke there to clean up behind him.
  • Justin Meram has been maddeningly inconsistent in his Crew tenure. He's looked lost with the reserves, but came up very big in relief of Ethan Finlay.
  • The entire defense put in a great effort. Josh Williams continues to impress with another outstanding performance. Eric Gehrig was much more solid than last week.
  • Sebastian Miranda is looking a lot like the player he was in 2011. He was very solid on defense and he pushed up at the right times to provide some width. His goal was excellent.
  • Nemanja Vukovic is becoming a real find. He's very dangerous on crosses and set pieces. His defensive play has been impressive considering how much he gets forward.
  • The forward situation remains a mess. Finlay struggled to make an impact with his speed. He looked more at home on the left. Emilio Renteria still doesn't look dangerous and was a non factor. Eddie Gaven added some stability and possession, but he didn't get off a shot through 90 minutes.

Gruenebaum (6): Didn't have much to do as Dallas had few opportunities. He played shorter than usual to build from the back. Played nicely out of trouble, even if it looked dangerous.
Miranda (7): Beautiful headed goal off the new corner kick routine. He also played very good defense except for Castillo's near miss in the 7th minute when he lost his mark.
Gehrig (6): Played very solid defense and was smart with the ball. Won several headers to protect against the long ball.
Williams (7): Another impressive game from the Ohio native. He got good reads and picked off some passes and won the areal battle. Outstanding work.
Vukovic (6): Dangerous on offense and solid on defense. His corner for the goal was perfectly placed for Miranda's header. Created plenty of space for Meram and Anor with his overlaps.
Tchani (2): A poor game in general was made even worse by his dismal mental error on the Dallas goal. His passes were errant. The only positives was his one on one tackling. Had the most touches of anyone on the Crew.
O'Rourke (7): Very good performance to cover a lot of ground in midfield while being extremely sharp with his passes. A performance that could be easy to overlook. He allowed Mirosevic to get forward more than most games this season.
Mirosevic (6): Looked very lively and nearly had a beautiful goal off a stellar Gaven cross. He's getting more involved in the offense as he develops a partnership with O'Rourke.
Gaven (6): Played well as the target forward and dropping into midfield. Didn't get any shots off, but held possession and set up those around him.
Finlay (5): Struggled at forward as he didn't get much service. Looked better when he could play wide and get into space. Evening ended early with a misplaced elbow knocking him out of the game.
Renteria (4): Missed a couple of good chances, but was much more lively than recent games. Still needs to do more to keep his spot in the lineup once players start getting healthy.
Meram (7): He made an impact with his speed and tenacity. His shot was a beauty; placed in the perfect spot. If there is one place he could improve, it's placing his passes better.
Anor (6): Provided energy off the bench and was tidy in possession and with his passes.
Francis (NR): Clock killing sub.
Coaching (6): Savvy move to push Gaven forward to add stability to the center of the field. The Crew possessed better when he and Finlay swapped. New corner kick routine worked very well.

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.