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Columbus v. Los Angeles (Notes & Grades)

A moment of joy.
A moment of joy.

After shaking off the rust and playing with the emotion, the Crew was able to get a tie in what was a very difficult game.

  • In the last game before the Federico Higuain era, Milovan Mirosevic showed some of the skills that had the Crew faithful excited in the off season. It took about 15 minutes, but he settled and put in one of his best games of the year.
  • Mirosevic played in front of a Cole Grossman/Chris Birchall double pivot giving him a lot of latitude on offense. Grossman and especially Birchall were extremely active in the middle, doing a good job of forcing play wide.
  • Mirosevic settling in the middle pushed Eddie Gaven to his familiar right sided role. He and Sebastian Miranda were ruthless against Todd Dunivant and Michael Stephens. The Crew's best chances in the first half came as the right sided duo worked with Jairo Arrieta to find space and fire in crosses.
  • Josh Williams struggled early with right midfielder Hector Jimenez, but wasn't tested much after a few initial chances.
  • Robbie Keane gave the Crew back line fits all night. He was able to turn Miranda, Chad Marshall, and Carlos Mendes on a quick succession of possessions.

Gruenebaum (7): His usual shot blocking self. Several fine saves to keep the score tied late in the game.
Miranda (7): Early struggles on defense, but extremely active with overlapping runs and two good crosses in that created chances.
Mendes (6): Solid back line performance. He did make a bit of contact with Magee that might have earned a PK call, but otherwise didn't put a foot wrong.
Marshall (6): Looked uncharacteristically shaky early, but settled the defense that was increasingly under pressure. Left in a hard spot on the goal as Duka was turned easily.
Williams (6): Another player who struggled early with the sharp Galaxy passing, but he settled down. Yet another goal outstanding offensive play robbed by the post.
Birchall: (7): A bit sloppy with his passes, but he was ever present in the center of the field. He has been a very solid addition at defensive midfield.
Grossman (6): Played a simple game. Made the passes he needed to and wasn't caught in possession.
Mirosevic (7): He looked very poor for the first 15 minutes, but he was very good after that. He was very judicious in possession and was influential in offense. An in form Milo is a very good sign for the team.
Gaven (7): Was consistently dangerous getting into the channels. Made the right pass and
Duka (5): Struggled to find the game as the Crew went right. He also was turned easily by Franklin to lead to the Galaxy goal. After a bright return, he's cooled a bit.
Arrieta (7): Worked tirelessly as the single forward. He ran into the channels and linked up well with the midfield. The goal was a singular effort by a player expecting to score. His layoff to Gaven at the end of the game was brilliant.
Renteria (6): Subbed in on the right side and did change the complexion of the game with his strong runs with the ball. Created a couple solid chances on offense.
Meram (6): Got a late chance on the left and looked a bit better than Duka had.
O'Rourke (NR): Only a few touches in less than 10 total minutes on the field.
Coaching (6): Solid lineup choices put players in their best positions. Arrieta, Mirosevic, Gaven, and Birchall all had very good games and seem to be building a rapport.

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.