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Philadelphia vs. Columbus (Notes & Grades)

Eddie Gaven - Game Winner.
Eddie Gaven - Game Winner.

The Crew absolutely victimize the Philadelphia Union by stealing 3 points late in stoppage time.

  • The team looked absolutely fatigued and still have two more games to go in their grueling schedule. Heavy legs are going to make the next two games very challenging.
  • Milovan Mirosevic continues his solid play as the deep lying playmaker who can defend. It's often overlooked with Federico Higuain and Jairo Arrieta ahead of him.
  • Mirosevic doesn't look as prolific with Chris Birchall beside him. The roles are a little less clear with the more offensive minded Birchall rather than the defense first Danny O'Rourke.
  • While Higuain has improved all around him, Eddie Gaven may be the biggest beneficiary. He's very dangerous now that he's no longer a primary focus. He finds space so well.
  • Higuain great vision, but the athletic ability to do something with it. He single handedly go out of a couple jams and allowed the rest of the offense to press into the attack. His direction on the goal was magnificent.
  • The defense still is a puzzle. Chad Marshall has had an up and down season. The other center back spot has been a revolving door. Josh Williams has probably looked best there, but has been slid out to the left. The constant rotation takes it's toll.

Lampson (6): Struggled mightily with crosses and punches and spilled a save, but considering it was his first start on the road, he held up well.
Miranda (7): A very smart defensive performance. He blocked several shots and shut down his side.
O'Rourke (7): Covered a lot of ground and played well in his shift to left back. He was everpresent late in the game, throwing his body in front of seemingly every Union shot.
Marshall (5): A mixed performance. He consistently worked to clear the ball, but for the 2nd time in three weeks he muffed one. He seems to struggle with balls coming out of the air.
Williams (4): Well deserved goal and he's slowly developing awareness at left but his push was a thoughtless move and put the team at a disadvantage.
Birchall: (4): Rested over the weekend, but still seemed behind the play. He perhaps looked to push up a little too often with Milo beside him.
Mirosevic (6): Steady play, passes were mostly sharp and he did well to pick his spots going forward.
Gaven (7): Good form continues for the tireless one. He showed his quickness getting to several late outlet balls. His header late gave Higuain a prime chance to win the game. He then won it with his well taken shot.
Duka (4): Appeared to struggle with fatigue. He looked slow and not sharp. He did draw a foul to set up the first goal and a great early cross to Gaven that nearly was another before halftime.
Higuain (8): Didn't score, but did just about everything else, two assists and rang a shot off the crossbar. He has changed this team.
Arrieta (6): Quiet game, didn't get much of the ball in the final third and didn't have a shot the entire game.
Meram (6): Still turnover prone, but took direction well to get into position to assist on Gaven's goal, even if it looked like a shot.
James (5): Didn't range too far as he was the defensive sub to restore four in the back.
Grossman (6): He used his fresh legs to go box to box, clearing balls with his back to goal, but then pressing into the attack less than a minute later.
Coaching (5): Not as much rotation as expected. Duka looked quite fatigued and Williams and Miranda have played a considerable number of games. Meram eventually paid dividends.

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.