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Game Grades: Crew SC vs. Los Angeles FC

What the team’s performance looked like in the 2-0 setback in California?

MLS: Columbus Crew at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

A very slow start led Columbus Crew SC to a 2-0 defeat to Los Angeles Football Club this Saturday as the Black & Gold are now in a five-match winless streak. It wasn’t the best of performances for the team this season as the Crew never seemed to have the power to turn things around at Banc of California Stadium.

Here’s how each player rated in the game:

Jon Kempin (4.5) – The goalkeeper was tasked with the tough job of replacing Zack Steffen and he didn’t start on the right foot as, despite of Laurent Ciman’s shot been a very good one, his set up of the wall and speed reaction to dive to the ball were subpar. After that, he showed good reflexes to intercept a cross to Adama Diomande and to stop a point-blank shot from the striker in the final minutes.

Harrison Afful (5) – The Ghanaian had a rough start as he didn’t notice Diomande right behind him and allowed him space to score LAFC’s second goal. With the team trailing, he bombed forward, but really didn’t generate dangerous opportunities.

Jonathan Mensah (5.5) – The veteran was also involved on LAFC’s second goal as he should be covering the space where Diomande scored from, but was caught out of position. Other than that, he had a solid game with two tackles, three interceptions and five clearances.

Lalas Abubakar (5) – The young center back had a scary start of match as he made several unnecessary fouls due to lack of patience and was awarded an early yellow card. He settled after that and registered four tackles and five clearances despite of having struggled with some actions inside the box.

Milton Valenzuela (5) – The Argentinean didn’t have much trouble to keep Latif Blessing under control and, except for a bad turnover inside the box if, had a steady defensive first half. In the second part, however, LAFC attacked more his side and he struggled at times to contain it. He was replaced after he got a yellow card.

Wil Trapp © (6) – In a very poor team performance, the captain was probably Crew SC’s most stable player, keeping his passing rate at his traditional high level (87.5 percent) and being more active than he usually is with two tackles and three interceptions.

Artur (5) – The Brazilian patrolled Crew SC’s midfield and registered a team high four tackles. He also tried to help the team offensively, with limited success. The midfielder had a good run inside the box that ended on Higuain’s disallowed goal.

Pedro Santos (4) – Nothing was going right for the Portuguese, who struggled to connect his passes, registering just 57.9 percent accuracy, and failed to place his shots on target. He spent the last minutes in the left wingback spot and did a decent job there.

Federico Higuain (5) – Pipa was very active in the first half as he tried to link all Crew SC offensive actions, but his accuracy was not impressive. In the second part, his energy went down and he missed the team’s best opportunity to score as he didn’t take advantage from a cross dropped by Tyler Miller inside the box.

Luis Argudo (5) – The rookie was discrete during most of his time on the field and his most notable play was a good pass to Santos that the Portuguese fired in the center of the goal. His hard work in the defensive end was a positive, though, as he left the field with three tackles.

Gyasi Zardes (4.5) – Once again the forward was way too disconnected from the game as he recorded just 16 touches over the entire 90 minutes. His performance on the ball wasn’t bad as he delivered all of his eight passes, but he needs to get more involved in games like this.

Eduardo Sosa (5.5) – The Venezuelan came in for Argudo and organized some good plays with Artur and Afful in the right side of Columbus’ offense in the first few minutes. He couldn’t keep the same consistency, however.

Ricardo Clark (5) – The veteran came in to play as a center back and tried his best to contain Blessing in the right side of Crew SC’s defense. He didn’t have much work, though, as LAFC was targeting the opposite side of the Black & Gold’s backline at the time.

Hector Jimenez (N/A) – The versatile player came in to play in the left wingback and had just a few minutes to help the team.

Gregg Berhalter (5) – This was always going to be a tough match, but the team’s slow start made things a lot harder. As the Crew managed to find a way out of LAFC’s high pressure things got better, but despite of getting the match more balanced, the team never threatened the hosts’ lead. In the second half he tried to move to a three-man backline again, but it didn’t have the same effect it did against Toronto.