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Crew v. Real Salt Lake (Notes and Grades)

Another steady performance from Sebastian Miranda and the Crew saw off a tired Real Salt Lake team.
Another steady performance from Sebastian Miranda and the Crew saw off a tired Real Salt Lake team.

A power outage can only delay the notes and grades. The Crew struck early and coasted to victory against a Real Salt Lake team that looked spent. They are still just outside the playoff hunt, but are getting healthy and are primed to make a run.

  • Gaven and Birchall both provided some width to a team that has a tendency to stay too narrow. Birchall especially would be available for the switch.
  • Renteria was his usual handful, but he made much better decisions on the ball, most evident by his cutback to Tchani.
  • O'Rourke's return gives the Crew a solid base to build off of in midfield. He can patrol so much territory, that gives Tchani, Birchall, and Gaven license to get forward.
  • Chad Marshall is nearly ready to return to health and that will mean changes to the lineup. Julius James has done well since coming back, but Josh Williams has put in some tremendous performances and perhaps deserves the starts more.
  • Warzycha has said that Milovan Mirosevic is a 2-way midfielder, but showed he's probably better as a 2nd striker or attacking midfielder. It just showcases his offensive skills better.

Gruenebaum (6): Defense did the heavy lifting but he was still ready when (rarely) tested.
Miranda (6): Yet another steady performance from the league's most underratted right back. He just continues to shut down opponents.
James (5): Struggled early on with Espindola and the long balls. Nearly was caught napping a couple times. Settled in well though.
Williams (7): He's returning to outstanding form. Capped off a very active night with an assist off a corner kick.
Vukovic (6): He's proven to be an outstanding pickup as he's quickly set the standard on the left, both offensive and defensively.
Birchall: (6): Solid two way game and he did a good job staying wide. It really stretched the narrow RSL midfield.
O'Rourke (6): The average O'Rourke game, solid defending, connects passes, a couple late tackles.
Tchani (6): Very adept at finding the spaces in the Salt Lake defense.
Gaven (7): He certainly seems to thrive on the wing. His goal was a well taken redirect and he was tireless on defense and often lead the counter, even late in the 2nd half.
Schoenfeld (5): Certainly didn't look like a game changer, but was serviceable in a holdup role.
Renteria (7): Excellent to manhandle the RSL defense to create Tchani's goal. He looked much sharper than he has of late.
Mirosevic (6): Showed excellent decision making. He's a cut above when leading a counter. His pressing was also very good in stifling a struggling RSL attack.
George (5): He continues to show some promise with rookie inconsistency.
Meram (5): Didn't have long to make an impact, but made several good runs and really pressed on defense late in the game.
Coaching (6): Helped with O'Rourke returning to health, But a much better choice to get Birchall on the right and Gaven on the left. The midfield looked much more potent with two knowledgable vets on the outside knowing when to pinch in and when to spread play wide.

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.