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Crew v. Fire - Notes and Grades

Gaven and the Crew rose to the challenge agains the Fire.
Gaven and the Crew rose to the challenge agains the Fire.

These wins can become habit forming. It was another diversified offensive effort and the makeshift defense kept the three points as the Fire pushed for the win.

  • The game was a tale of two halves. The Crew controlled early and got an early goal for their efforts.
  • Despite playing 180 minutes of soccer over the last three weeks, Eddie Gaven just kept getting sharper throughout the week. His level of fitness is simply amazing.
  • Gaven's attempt to find space also set up a screen on his goal scoring shot. The defender went for the block, but ended up screening his own keeper.
  • Duka may sill be getting into full fitness, but he's already showing what the Crew have missed during his injury. Much like Gaven, he has a knack for finding space and making the most of it, like getting off a shot that nearly made it 3-0 early in the 2nd half.
  • The back line again put in a solid effort, but there was an obvious drop off with Shaun Francis at left back. He shows a distinct lack of composure on the ball and nearly gifted the Fire a goal with a terrible back pass.
  • Kevan George was very steady as the defensive screener. He passed at an 89% clip, mostly side to side. He wasn't flashy, but he played within himself. He did only have 62 touches during the game.
  • The Fire substitutions changed the course of the game. Dominic Oduro's speed forced the defense to sit deeper. Chicago could build more pressure.

Gruenebaum (6): Another great performance to cut down several dangerous Chicago chances.
Miranda (6): Tremendous effort to lock down the right side. The Fire didn't have much success attacking his side.
Mendes (6): Steady performance as Chicago wasn't able to build much unless it was a counter.
Williams (6): Another gutty performance as he fought through cramps towards the end to keep the Fire from stealing a point.
Francis (3): Made some things happen on offense, but his defending was dreadful and he also gave away a couple dangerous passes.
Duka (6): He's showing what a dangerous part to the Crew offense he is and how the team is better with him.
George (7): He has a pre-natural level of calm for a rookie. Very tidy on the ball and chooses the right pass.
Tchani (6): Another pretty good game in both the middle and then on the right. He's really pulled it together after his bonehead play against Dallas.
Anor (5): 90 solid minutes on the left. He did tend to get caught in traffic as he drifted inside.
Gaven (7): He's so deceptive, much like a crafty left hander. He doesn't have the fiercest shot, but he works with placement. He also had seemingly limitless energy as he ran nearly as hard in the 90th minute as in the 1st.
Renteria (7): Excellent work rate and appears to be finding some of his confidence again.
Vukovic (6): Added defensive stability to the left side.
Gehrig (5): Fresh legs helped solidify the back line and he did well when the Crew were getting pressed.
Birchall (5): Looked rusty coming into his first game action in six months, but showed flashes of the dependable anchor man playing style he's capable of.

Coaching (7): Perhaps a controversial rating. The Meram/Anor decision could have blown up, but Anor was fresh and capable of playing a full 90 minutes. A very valuable attribute in the heat. Every decision seemingly paying off as rookies and veterans alike putting in very good performances.

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.