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Game Grades: Columbus Crew SC vs. FC Dallas

How did each Black & Gold fare in the scoreless tie against the Western Conference leaders?

MLS: Columbus Crew at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC started its three-match streak taking one point home as the Black & Gold went to Toyota Stadium, in Frisco, Texas, and tied 0-0 with the Western Conference leaders FC Dallas. Crew SC was the better team for most of the game, but couldn’t convert any of its chances and had to settle for one point on Saturday.

Here is how each player performed against the Texans:

Zack Steffen (6.5) – The goalkeeper managed to get the team’s sixth road shootout in the season, but he wasn’t much bothered by Dallas’ offense, recording just two saves. His distribution was fine as well.

Harrison Afful (7) – The Ghanaian was Crew SC’s most effective player in the first half, providing a constant option in the right side and creating some opportunities. He did well when he needed to defend too.

Jonathan Mensah (7.5) – The World Cup veteran did a great job on controlling FC Dallas’ offense during the entire match with his good positioning. He finished the match with impressive 11 clearances and led Crew SC’s backline against the Texans. He was also solid with the ball, leading the team with 97.4 percent accuracy.

Lalas Abubakar (6.5) – The defender seemed a little flustered to start the match and made some unnecessary fouls in the first half. He calmed down in the second portion of the game and helped Jonathan to keep the game scoreless.

Milton Valenzuela (7) – The Argentinean was very dynamic in the left side of the field, playing a solid two-way game. He had four crosses in the offensive end, including a very good one to Nike Hansen, and good defensive numbers, as his five clearances and three tackles.

Ricardo Clark (7) – The veteran had good presence in the center of the field, helping the team with defensive actions and distributing the ball smartly. He also had an important tackle on Michael Barrios when he was about to finish from inside the penalty box to start the second half.

Artur (6) – The Brazilian had some trouble chasing down Michael Barrios a couple of times when the team was exposed in counter attacks in the first half. He wasn’t as effective as usual in the defensive side of the ball, but took good care of it.

Pedro Santos (5.5) – It was a typical performance from the Portuguese with a lot of effort and intensity, but also limited offensive efficiency. Santos was dangerous with some long-distance shots, but failed to connect some key passes that could have led to goal-scoring opportunities.

Federico Higuaín © (6.5) – Pipa had Columbus’ best chance in the first half when he fired a shot from the edge of the penalty box but Jesse Gonzalez saved it. The Argentinean centralized the team’s offense, leading it team in crosses (6) and key passes (4).

Justin Meram (6.5) – The winger seems completely integrated to the team already as he connected well with this teammates and had good movement, always looking for the ball. He could have been more aggressive and tried more shots, though.

Gyasi Zardes (5.5) – The forward returned to the Crew after playing for the National Team and had a very discrete performance, completing just seven passes in the entire match. He wasted a promising chance in the second half after he misplaced a header from a Higuaín cross.

Wil Trapp (6.5) – The captain entered the match during the second half and displayed his usual effective passing game, helping the team to keep possession and control the pace of the game.

Niko Hansen (5.5) – The winger hadn’t done much until he skied a potential game-winning goal after he putted way too much power on his shot after a cross from Valenzuela.

Patrick Mullins (6.5) – The forward came in with just a few minutes to play, but he found time to make a good tackle that led to a dangerous counter attack, but failed to connect the final pass to Zardes.

Gregg Berhalter (7) – His team had a good start, controlling the pace of the game and kept the positive attitude for the most part of the 90 minutes. Also, his decision to start Clark proved to be a good one. Getting a point on the road against the Western Conference leader is definitely something to be happy about, but the feeling could have been even better had the team converted one of its chances.