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Kansas City vs. Columbus (Notes and Grades)

Arrieta's sharpshooting was the difference.
Arrieta's sharpshooting was the difference.

The Crew steal three points in Kansas City with an excellent counterpunching offense and a lot of luck on defense.

  • Columbus had only 32% posession, an incredibly low amount. Some of this is how Opta calculates these stats, but it was clear that the Crew were playing defense first, second, and third.
  • The Crew really were pinned back from the start of the 2nd half. They had 11 shots in the 1st half and 1 in the 2nd.
  • Carlos Mendes had a surprisingly low amount of touches (via Opta). He has 28 compared to 43 for Marshall and 70 each for Miranda and Williams. I'm not sure if this means he's less mobile or just economical with his movement.
  • Also in the stat line, Columbus didn't complete a single cross from the run of play. Duka tried the only two, but missed on each.
  • Of the Crew's 12 shots, Arrieta had two. Both were on target and goals. Otherwise he played a complete two way game for a forward, working to press the back line and drop deep when needed.

Gruenebaum (8): Outstanding work to keep Sporting Kansas City to a single goal.
Miranda (7): Very solid in rearguard action and to keep Convey quiet.
Mendes (5): Solid again with Marshall, but really didn't have many touches and wasn't as influencial.
Marshall (6): Struggled early, but settled down to play a solid game against a very spirited Kansas City offense.
Williams (6): A hard assignment to keep Kamara in check, but did well to keep him from making an even bigger impact on the game.
Birchall: (6): His set pieces were dangerous and
Grossman (2): Had a couple solid defensive stops and solid passing, but his tackle on Zusi was indefensible. He should face an extended ban from that play.
Meram (5): Struggled to make an impact and disappeared for long periods. Best with the ball and a bit of space to work with; didn't have that Saturday.
Gaven (6): Steady play in the middle of the attacking midfield line. He kept posession and played, mostly, simple passes.
Duka (5): His explosiveness is returning, but he's also gotten into positions where he tries to do too much and loses possession easily. Needs to find a better balance.
Arrieta (9): The most composure seen from a Crew attacker this year results in two fine goals.
Finlay (5): Very active in relief to try and relieve the unrelenting SKC pressure.
Tchani (5): Worked very hard to provide support on defense and push for an outlet on offense.
James (NR): Bunkering defensive sub.
Coaching (6): It may have taken a while, but the Crew's 4-2-3-1 has developed into a threatening offensive formation. It doesn't rely on crosses to forwards, but creativity from the three attacking midfielders.

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.