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Crew v. San Jose: Notes and Grades

Meram gave the Crew hope for a full three points with his beautiful goal.
Meram gave the Crew hope for a full three points with his beautiful goal.

A tie that either could have been or a loss depending on how you look at it. San Jose hasn't been kind and the Crew were overrun for 30 minutes. Meram's goal nearly secured a shock three points until Alan Gordon tied it in extra time.

  • Andy Gruenebaum played like a man possessed. His shot stopping was unparalleled, keeping the Crew in the game and giving them a chance to steal points.
  • Eric Gehrig was targeted by San Jose to some effect. Gehrig did struggle early on with Lenhart, giving up the penalty, but eventually did well to quiet the former Crew front man.
  • Justin Meram had a poor game through 45 minutes. He was timid and indecisive on the ball. He wasn't a good outlet for the defense. The goal was brilliant, but he still has some rough edges to his game that limit his effectiveness.
  • Milovan Mirosevic struggled to get time on the ball and create much of anything going forward. Milo was wasteful when he did get open looks to pass.
  • Tony Tchani improved over last week's game and appears to be settling into his right wing role. He's still too slow with his decisions, but he did show off some skills to get out of trouble along the touch line. He's still not adding enough to the offense.
  • Dilly Duka showed some of the pace and skill that spreads the field for the Crew. He's not match fit, but every minute of game time gets him back to his 2011 level.
  • Olman Vargas was his usual tidy self in possession, but struggled to get much of the ball. A healthy Duka may create more of those crosses that he's good at getting to the end of.

Gruenebaum (8): Outstanding in all facets. He had several top notch saves and stopped a penalty kick to keep the Crew in the game.
Miranda (6): Very solid game on defense, but wasn't a big impact on offense.
Gehrig (5): Struggled with loose balls in the box and did trip up Lenhart for the PK. Improved to play a very solid 2nd half.
Williams (6): Not tested as much, but was very effective in keeping Wondolowski under wraps.
Vukovic (6): Again, looked to push forward at every chance. His defense was solid. He still tended to spray his passes, limiting his effectivnes.
Tchani (5): He had an up and down game. He wasn't a big factor on offense even though he got an assist for Meram's singular goal scoring effort., but he was a big asset on defense. He did have a big breakout run to lead to a late scoring chance.
O'Rourke (5): Was overrun in the first half and didn't make as big of a defensive impact. He did pick his passes well.
Mirosevic (4): Struggled to maintain posession and misfired on his passes before coming out at halftime due to injury.
Gaven (6): Put in another steady performance at both wing and forward. Didn't get a shot off, but was everpresent to keep the ball moving.
Meram (6): Poor performance throughout the first half as he failed to hold up the ball and made little impact. Well, until his moment of genious on his goal. What a brilliant shot.
Vargas (5): Played 90 minutes but didn't make much of an impact as he played his first game off of a injury layoff.
Grossman (5): Played a quiet game as he replaced the ailing Mirosevic. He wasn't terribly involved in the offense and didn't have to make many plays on defense.
Duka (5): He certainly wasn't fully fit, but showed flashes of his skills once he settled into the game.
Francis (5): Not many touches in relief of Vukovic.
Coaching (6): The lineup struggled under the initial San Jose pressure, but did settle down. His Duka for Meram swap was a little odd, but Duka is certainly more familiar on the left. Used Gaven as the forward safety valve, just like against Dallas and the team did build some posession.

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.