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Columbus Crew vs. Chivas USA (Notes and Grades)

Jamie Sabau - Getty Images

They may not have gotten style points, but the Crew got the vital three points that count to stay in the playoff race.

  • Columbus kept the ball for most of the 2nd half, but weren't able to really turn that into shots. The like for like subs were more of the same rather than an attempt to break down the defense.
  • Federico Higuain was in the middle of everything, but at the expense of the rest of the offense. He had 103 touches, Arrieta had 62, Gaven 65, and Duka 66. That's a bit one dimentional.
  • The central midfield was a weakness most of the night. There was little fluitiy between Danny O'Rourke and Milovan Mirosevic. Ball movement was often too slow.
  • The Crew really didn't get effective width as the team was too slow to switch the point of attack. There wasn't a legitimate target once the ball was swung out wide.
  • Warzycha chose to double down on the existing strategies when there was a Plan B avalable. The little used Olman Vargas excels as a target forward and would have provided a different option against a Chivas team looking for a tie.

Gruenebaum (6): Up to Chivas's early tests and showed a solid presence late to keep the shutout.
Miranda (6): Never flashy and rarely beaten. Another game where the right side of the Crew defense was quiet.
James (5): He still doesn't look like the player of 2011, but he put in another workman like performance.
Marshall (6): A return to solid form as he was once again very good in the air.
Williams (5): Still struggles with technical aspects of left back, but
O'Rourke: (4): Seemed to be trailing the play and slow to cycle posession.
Mirosevic (4): Passing was sharp, but didn't make the impact in midfield that was needed.
Gaven (5): Faded from the game for long stretches and wasn't as active as he normally is.
Duka (6): A better game as he was more dangerous off the dribble. His crosses were also sent into dangerous areas.
Higuain (6): Very influential on offense with 105 touches, most on the team. Still recovering, but still showing that game changing class.
Arrieta (6): His offside runs have killed several good chances, but worked hard all night and his assist was a testiment to his effort.
Renteria (6): Took a little bit to adapt to game speed, but was an effective game changer.
Tchani (5): Sprayed nearly every pass except for the one that counted on Meram's goal.
Meram (6): Poachers effort on his goal, but otherwise a pedestrian night as a sub.
Coaching (5): He was quick to change up needing a win. The Duka sub was a bit odd as he had been doing well, but Renteria turned in a good performance. Mirosevic was disappointing, but Tchani wasn't a marked improvement. He's seemed to lock into a set 11.

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.