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Columbus vs. Kansas City (Notes & Grades)

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Warzycha unable to get the Crew going in the right direction. (Fahmi/MassiveReport.com)
Warzycha unable to get the Crew going in the right direction. (Fahmi/MassiveReport.com)

The Crew looked unlikely to come back once they were down a goal until Duka came on, that's how moribund the offense looks.
  • Bernardo Anor had a terrible opening 15 minutes, but he was best when he was able to get forward and pin Kai Kamara back.
  • Josh Williams also struggled to handle his new position early on. His giveaway and defense on the first goal was his poorest of the season.
  • The defense was otherwise stout, only allowing 8 shots and only 2 on goal. Marshall and Gehrig were dominant in the air.
  • In the Crew's setup, the outside backs see the ball most often. Anor didn't provide much offensive service. Williams pushed up as well, but again didn't create many chances.
  • The Kansas City midfield had a distinct numerical advantage against the two man Crew midfield. Chris Birchall often was charged with closing down two men. Peterson Joseph had time on the ball to drop in a ball to Jacob Peterson for the goal.
  • The offense looks absolutely lost without the ingenuity of Dilly Duka or Milovan Mirosevic. Duka did change the completion of the game once he came on; it's apparent what he brings to the team.

Gruenebaum (6): Solid game to settle the back line and distribute accuratly. Wasn't able to do much about the goals.
Williams (4): Terrible play to essentially gift the first goal to Kansas City. Settled down to play a solid game the rest of the way.
Gehrig (5): Struggled early, but settled to play a solid, if not unspectacularly. Good to win 11 headers.
Marshall (6): He too fell victim to some early struggles, but eventually rose back to his usual level.
Anor (4): One key mistake at the end gave K.C. the insurance goal. He also gave away the ball in some bad areas.
Gaven (6): He showed some savvy when he moved back to his familiar right side. His 47' cross set up Meram's header off the ball.
Birchall: (6): Forced to cover a lot of ground and was often spread too thin. Did slow down the K.C. midfield to some extent.
Tchani (3): Showed some tremendously bad decision making and was rightfully pulled off early.
Meram (4): Didn't cross very well, often tried to do too much, and he's a terrible passer of the ball. Did have a fine header for the Crew's best chance of the night.
Arrieta (4): 23 touches and 0 shots in 60 minutes. Very little action when he did have the ball. He was quite isolated.
Renteria (4): Lead the team with five shots, but only one was truly dangerous. He should have scored.
Duka (7): He is one of the few game changers the Crew have. A healthy Duka is key to the 2012 season.
Grossman (6): Limited time on the ball, but he was solid with his touches and usually played the right pass.
Vargas (NR): Saw very little of the ball in his short time on the field, but still showed he can play as a target and pass.
Coaching (3): Extremely confusing decision to bench Miranda and Vukovic. The tumult showed as the back line struggled for 15 minutes from the opening whistle. No matter what lineup he tries out, there is still no offense out of the players that are fit and healthy.

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.