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Game Grades: Crew at Houston Dynamo

The Black & Gold struggled again. See how each player performed in Texas.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC has lost four consecutive matches for the first time since 2005 as the Black & Gold were taken down 2-0 by the Houston Dynamo on Saturday at the BBVA Compass Stadium, in Texas. The Crew’s offensive struggles were apparent once again as, even trailing starting in the second minute of the match, the Black & Gold managed to get just four shots on target. The team wasn’t brilliant defensively either and that led to yet another setback.

Here is how each player performed in Texas:

Zack Steffen (6) – The goalkeeper was unlucky on both Dynamo’s goals as the first Mauro Manotas’ touch sent the ball to an unlikely spot and on the second his save fell right on Tomas Martinez’s feet. He had a few nice saves and a solid overall performance.

Hector Jimenez (5) – The fullback wasn’t very active on the offensive end, registering just two crosses, but he held his own on the defensive side of the ball, keeping Memo Rodriguez under control for most of the match. He had a nice headed pass to Niko Hansen near the end of the game that the winger couldn’t convert.

Gaston Sauro (5.5) – The Argentinean had a quietly efficient game, intercepting some passes in potentially dangerous spots and registering five clearances. He was also clean on the ball, connecting 92.9 percent of his passes.

Lalas Abubakar (4) – The Ghanaian started his first appearance of the season in the worst possible way as he lost the ball to Alberth Elis on a bad spot and didn’t stop the play when he had a chance. He bounced back in decent fashion after it, though, managing to block a pair of potentially dangerous shots from Manotas later and recording a team-high eight clearances.

Waylon Francis (4.5) – The Costa Rican had a busy night on the defensive end and struggled to contain the Houston offense. Despit four interceptions and two tackles, he made consecutive fouls around the penalty box and was booked for it.

Wil Trapp © (4.5) – The captain had a night below his standards as he was very discrete defensively, with just two tackles and one interception, and didn’t help the team offensively with his distribution. He also made an uncharacteristic passing mistake that could have put the team in trouble in the first half.

Ricardo Clark (5.5) –The veteran played against his former team and had a decent night, with some important tackles and smart distribution. He’s not able to match Artur’s dynamism at this point of his career, but uses his experience to make the team play at his pace. He was way too far from Tomas Martinez on the second goal, though.

Robinho (6) – The Brazilian was very active early in the game with some dangerous runs and some shots. He created some good opportunities with his constant movement around the penalty box and had a team-high four shots, but still needs to make better decisions and to be sharper in front of the goal.

Eduardo Sosa (5) – The Venezuelan made his first start of the season by replacing Federico Higuain. He played his usual style and made some good runs through the middle of the field and drew some fouls, but had his also traditionally questionable distribution. He didn’t shy away from the game, though, and looked for the ball while he was on the field.

Justin Meram (4) – The veteran had a quiet performance, registering just one shot and one key pass in 55 minutes. He had the lowest passing efficiency among the front four, with 86.4 percent, but also the most crosses of the entire team with six. He is missing his ability to be dangerous with the ball.

Gyasi Zardes (6) – The striker was way too isolated up top at the start of the game, but he tried to get involved as much as he could by dropping deeper to get on the ball and making some solo runs. He also showed good effort when defending, but didn’t have a good chance to finish.

Pedro Santos (6) – The Portuguese came in for Meram at the 55th minute and helped in organizing the team’s offense. Santos played in more of a central position and had a few good plays. He almost scored an Olympico goal, in which was arguably the Crew’s best chance in the entire game, and had a dangerous cross near the end.

Niko Hansen (5) – The winger was on the field for nearly 20 minutes, but didn’t do much more than a couple of runs on the right side.

Luis Argudo (N/A) – The midfielder replaced Clark at the 80th-minute mark and tried to push the team forward, but didn’t have much help or the time to do it.

Caleb Porter (5) – His plan for the Crew’s busy week clearly failed as the team got zero points and just one goal in three matches and this one would always be a tough game. He stuck to his strategy and rested some of his most important players, still sending out what could be a fairly competitive team. An early individual mistake, however, ruined any strategy he could have for the night.

Poll

Who was the Crew’s man of the match against the Dynamo?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Gaston Sauro
    (36 votes)
  • 31%
    Robinho
    (29 votes)
  • 14%
    Pedro Santos
    (13 votes)
  • 8%
    Gyasi Zardes
    (8 votes)
  • 6%
    Other
    (6 votes)
92 votes total Vote Now