In a match with two very different halves, Columbus Crew SC and the New York Red Bulls tied 1-1 this Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium. It was the third straight draw for Black & Gold, who are undefeated for nine matches now, but the feeling was that the team wasted a good opportunity to rise in the Eastern Conference standings.
See how each player rated in the duel against the Red Bulls:
Jon Kempin (6) – The goalkeeper was solid for most of the match, recording three saves, and he didn’t get in trouble when he had to use his feet. His hesitation to leave his spot and unsuccessfully try to catch the ball that led to Red Bulls’ goal was the lowest point of his performance, however.
Harrison Afful (7) – The Ghanaian started the match on fire, repeatedly pushing forward on the right flank and he managed to create a handful of opportunities from there, including the perfect cross that Zardes headed to the back of the net. In the second half he didn’t keep the same rhythm and wasted a good opportunity near the end. Defensively, he turned the ball over in a very dangerous spot, but the team wasn’t punished for it.
Josh Williams (6.5) – It was another quiet night for the veteran as Bradley Wright-Phillips matched up with Abubakar most of the time. He had solid if unimpressive numbers with two interceptions and two clearances, but took good care of the ball and showed good positioning. He got half a second late to finish a cross from Grella in the back post.
Lalas Abubakar (5.5) – The young center back was probably Crew SC’s player who struggled the most with the opponent’s high pressing as his usually above average passing accuracy rating dropped to just 69.2 percent. Lalas made some good defensive stops, leading the team in both interceptions and clearances, but didn’t even jump with Alex Muyl to avoid the goal.
Milton Valenzuela (6) – It was another good defensive performance from the young Argentinean, who was most concerned about defending his sider rather than about creating in the attacking third. Other than a dangerous shot in the first half, he didn’t contribute much offensively.
Ricardo Clark (6.5) – The veteran had a solid night shielding the backline with two tackles and three interceptions. He was also important offensively with a couple of precise long balls that found Afful in good spots and a dangerous header in the near post after a corner kick.
Artur (7) – The Brazilian’s first half was probably his best in Black & Gold as Artur displayed great offensive presence with both smart runs inside the penalty box and dangerous shots from outside of it. In the second part, as the entire team, his performance dropped.
Pedro Santos (6.5) – The Portuguese returned after almost a month and impacted the game on both side of the ball. Offensively, he was dangerous on set pieces and even hit the Red Bulls’ crossbar on a free kick he drew. The winger was also active defensively, getting two tackles and even clearing the ball from inside the penalty box.
Federico Higuain © (6.5) – It was typical Pipa in the first half as the Argentinean was the hub of the team’s offense and showed his great vision to connect with multiple players as the team dominated the Red Bulls. Higuain kept trying in the second half, but his efficiency just wasn’t the same.
Mike Grella (5) – Playing against his former team, the veteran created some havoc to the Red Bulls’ backline in the first half by drifting inside and combining with Higuain and even Afful. He helped the team a lot defensively with four tackles, but didn’t record any shots and had a subpar 54.6 percent passing accuracy.
Gyasi Zardes (7.5) – His first half was amazing, as the striker not only showed great movement on both sides to create chances but also put himself in good positions to finish them. His header on Crew SC’s goal was perfectly placed and another one hit the post. In the second half, as the team had less of the ball, he wasn’t as dangerous.
Luis Argudo (5.5) – The rookie came on for Santos to improve the team’s offensive firepower, but he struggled to do that and finished the game with no shots, key passes or crosses.
Jonathan Mensah (6) – The center back returned to the field as the team transition to a formation with three in the back. Jonathan wasn’t brilliant in his limited time on the field, but the team’s defense controlled the Red Bulls’ offense after he came in.
Eduardo Sosa (6.5) – The Venezuelan had about 10 minutes to impact the game and he did exactly that with his runs. He was, however, one pass or one shot away from being more dangerous.
Gregg Berhalter (6.5) – The Crew had probably its best half of the year in the first 45 minutes against the Red Bulls as the team completely dominated its opponent with great variation, being dangerous both in possession and counter attacks. The fact that the Black & Gold couldn’t convert more chances when they controlled the match proved too costly in the end.