Columbus Crew SC’s attack was shut down for the first time in the 2018 MLS season, but the Black & Gold’s defense ended a match unharmed for the second time in the year and the team tied 0-0 with the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium this Saturday to remain undefeated and bring one point home.
Check how each Crew SC player rated in the match:
Zack Steffen (6.5) - The goalkeeper had a quiet first half, being called to action only once on an easy free kick shot. In the second part of the game, his services were more demanded though, as he had to intervene on a near-post header and in a short-range finish to keep the match scoreless.
Harrison Afful (6.5) - It was Afful’s best match in 2018 so far as the right back had a good offensive presence, both creating and finishing chances, and was also solid in the defensive side of the ball even when tasked with the challenging mission of stopping David Accam. He recorded four interceptions and two clearances.
Jonathan Mensah (6) - Mensah dominated the penalty box and helped Crew SC to limit CJ Sapong to a quiet night. The defender amassed two interceptions and five clearances, but his shaky passes almost put the team in trouble a couple of times during the match.
Lalas Abubakar (6.5) - The Ghanaian looks more comfortable every match. Against the Union, he had another solid performance, with two tackles and four clearances and also performed well with the ball on his feet, leading the team in passes (72) and passing accuracy (94.4 percent). It seems to be his job to lose now.
Milton Valenzuela (6) - The Argentinean took good care of Crew SC’s left side, having no trouble to frustrate Keegan Rosemberry’s and Fabian Herbers’ runs down the field. He didn’t push forward as often as Afful did, but he rarely turned the ball over, either crossing it to the penalty box or passing it to a teammate.
Wil Trapp (7) - The captain had an important role in Crew SC’s strategy to adjust to Philadelphia’s high pressure by sliding between the center backs to provide cleaner passes out of the back line. He was as efficient as usual with his passing game, earning a 92.9 percent efficiency, and was more active than usual on defense with five tackles and five interceptions.
Artur (6.5) - The Brazilian covered a lot of ground and had a game-high six tackles, including a crucial one over Alejandro Bedoya in the first half, besides of three interceptions. His eagerness made hi, commit a couple of dangerous fouls around the penalty box though. He pushed forward in the second half, but, despite his good passing accuracy (87.5 percent), couldn’t put himself in position to impact the game as much as he wanted.
Cristian Martinez (5) - His work rate has been impressive in the start of the season, but, as most of the players of his age, he struggles to convert all the effort in effective production. The Panamanian turned the ball over too much and had only one shot in 75 minutes.
Pedro Santos (6) - The Portuguese had a decent match, moving around Crew SC’s attacking field and recording three shots, the second-most for the team. He had a couple of good runs behind Philadelphia’s defenders in the second half and completed most of his passes, besides of helping defensively with one tackle and three interceptions, playing an important role in the team’s strategy.
Federico Higuain (6.5) - In a match where Crew SC had the ball for less time than the usual, Pipa tried to make the most of it, feeding his teammates with good passes. He put Zardes in great position twice, one of them with a magic back heel pass and tried to accelerate the game most of the times he had the ball.
Gyasi Zardes (6) - Zardes had good movement up front, putting himself in good positions repeatedly over the match and also helped the team with an efficient hold up game. He struggled on his main role, though, failing to convert all of the four chances he had and in at least two of them he was in good place to do so.
Niko Hansen (5.5) - Hansen played his first minutes in 2018 late in the second half after he replaced Martinez. He had a good run on the right side dribbling a pair of Philadelphia defenders, but failed to connect the final pass.
Luis Argudo (N/A) - The rookie replaced Pedro Santos in the final minute of the match and only had time to hear the final whistle.
Gregg Berhalter (7) - Crew SC had to adjust its game to play again the Union on the road and it worked out very well defensively, with the Black & Gold not giving many chances for the home team to score. Offensively, the team was dangerous on counter attacks and didn’t leave Philadelphia with the three points because of its inefficiency to convert goals. It’s hard to blame Berhalter for that, though.
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