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New England vs. Columbus (Notes & Grades)

The Revolution put a dent into the recent Crew run.
The Revolution put a dent into the recent Crew run.

The Crew had some extremely tired legs and the Revolution took advantage to hand the Crew their first loss in 6 games.

  • The game could have been played on bedrock and Federico Higuain wouldn't have struggled with the surface as much. He still tried to impact the game with extra work on defense.
  • Milovan Mirosevic struggled mightily. He didn't see very much of the ball and his passing was of the possession recycling lateral type. The Crew offense suffered as a result.
  • Dilly Duka was badly in need of relief. He was absent most of the game and made only 11 passes, 7 successful. A nonfactor to say the least.
  • Jairo Arrieta may not have scored and certainly earned his many offside calls, but he was the most dangerous player on the Crew offense. He worked hard even though he's not a long ball target forward.
  • The Crew, lacking midfield possession, resorted to long balls forward. Arrieta and Higuain are not the type of player to handle high bouncing balls off the turf. The Crew could have used a "Plan B", but lacked a viable one on the bench.
  • Last night's game should make it clear that Josh Williams is a center back. He looked far better in the middle of the field than his recent play out on the left.
  • The back line might be set with Nemanja Vukovic's 2nd game at left back and Williams slotting in at central defense. It gives Danny O'Rourke the chance to move to a holding role where he frees up Mirosevic to control play.

Gruenebaum (5): Several excellent saves. Perhaps could have done better on the Revs first goal. Failure to call the ball effectively on the own goal. The play is in front of him and he was crossed up by Marshall.
Miranda (5): Not as sharp as the past 3 weeks of running caught up with him. He was turned a couple of times, once leading to a Revs goal.
O'Rourke (6): Covered a lot of ground in the back in another steady performance. A little bit of bite, no nonsense defending, and better than you would expect ball handling.
Marshall (5): Very solid in the air and played a decent game. The own goal was a disappointing cap to a disappointing game.
Vukovic (5): Good defense, but wasn't able to add much to the attack.
Birchall (4): Unable to link possession between the defense and the midfield. Like much of the team, looked a step slow.
Mirosevic (3): Missing for much of the game and his passing was didn't offer much in the way of attacking.
Gaven (6): Even the tireless one seemed to lag.
Duka (4): Never found the game and was lifted early. He only made 33 touches the entire time on the field. Lowest rate on the team.
Higuain (5): Struggled immensely with his touch on the fake grass. By far his worst game in black and gold; a testiment to what type of performances he put in during the stretch run.
Arrieta (5): Struggled with timing all game and picked up plenty of offside calls. He did show some of his class with a couple to excellent touches.
Williams (6): Looks much more comfortable in the middle of the defense. Showed some excellent moves to end several Revs attacks.
Tchani (6): Energetic performance and was an upgrade over an extremely tired and sloppy Mirosevic.
Renteria (5): Struggled as an impact sub, but much of the team was running a full step slow, so he had little to work with.
Coaching (4): Kept the same lineup for the 2nd game in a row and it showed. Tired legs all over the field eventually led to some sloppy defending. Rotation for Duka especially might have made sense. Slow to fix ongoing issues in midfield and move to plan B.

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.