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Game Grades: Crew at Minnesota United

See how the Black & Gold performed against the Loons.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Minnesota United FC Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC has now lost seven of the team’s last eight matches, the seventh coming Saturday night in a 1-0 defeat to Minnesota United. Ethan Finlay put the Loons ahead of his former club in the 70th minute. The Crew is now 5-1-8 on the season and stand in seventh place in MLS’s Eastern Conference.

Here is how the team performed in yet another underwhelming loss:

Jon Kempin (6.5) - The keeper got his first start of 2019 with Zack Steffen out with a mild concussion. Filling Steffen’s shoes is never an easy task, but Kempin did his best, making two saves and several solid plays. Kempin played well with his hands and his feet, and there wasn’t much he could do about the Loons’ goal with the lack of defensive pressure put on Finlay.

Hector Jimenez (6) - Going up against his long-time friend Ethan Finlay, Jimenez had another dominating performance. He has started every game since Harrison Afful’s injury and has stepped up each time. He had an overall solid defensive performance, though his positioning wasn’t great on the lone goal.

Gaston Sauro (6) – Sauro came up with the stops when he was called upon. He had a great recovery in the midfield to prevent a dangerous scoring opportunity for the Loons. However, he was a little too aggressive at times, including a foul that led to a well-placed Minnesota free kick.

Jonathan Mensah (6.5) – Mensah was really solid against the attack until the goal came and he was caught, with the rest of his back line, with a man unmarked. Otherwise, Mensah had little to no glaring mistakes and kept the scoreline down to one.

Josh Williams (6) – The center back found himself all over the field Saturday, and positively contributed to many plays. However, he too was caught off guard when Finlay scored.

Wil Trapp © (7) - Fans rarely heard Trapp’s name called, but he had a clean match. Amidst a midfield full of turnovers, he managed to limit the ones he gave up and had a solid performance on defense. The captain stepped up as a leader amidst a seemingly never-ending slump.

David Guzman (5) - Guzman ­­­­had a rather underwhelming performance in his second start for the Black & Gold. Taking the place of Artur alongside Wil Trapp, the midfielder had a solid performance on defense but did not contribute offensively, something the team needed from him desperately.

Robinho (4.5) – Robinho’s creativity is promising, but his execution is lacking. He made a few good runs and had some solid passes, but he couldn’t keep a hold of the ball and did not produce like the team needed.

Federico Higuain (7) – Pipa had the team’s closest shot of the night, putting one off of the post in the first half. What little offensive action was created usually stemmed from him, but he also gave up some turnovers, an issue that plagued the midfield throughout the match.

David Accam (5.5) - With Pedro Santos away due to an illness in the family, Accam gets his first start with the Crew. He was quiet for most of the first half but made a solid run in the second that forced the Loons’ keeper to make a tight save.

Gyasi Zardes (5) – The striker was barely involved in the match, though that wasn’t all on him. The midfield struggled to get the ball up the field at all, so there often weren’t chances for him to get on the end of anything. However, he didn’t capitalize on chances he did have, and his touches could have been cleaner.

Niko Hansen (N/A) – Hansen came on for Robinho in the 79th minute and didn’t make a huge impact in his short time on the pitch.

Luis Argudo (N/A) – Subbing off David Accam in the 88th minute, Argudo had very few chances to contribute to the match.

Patrick Mullins (N/A) – Mullins came off the bench for Jimenez in the 88th minute as well, and also didn’t have time to make much of an impact.

Caleb Porter (6) – Switching to a 4-2-1-3 was an interesting move from the coach. Though the offensive result wasn’t there, it was a good effort considering all the starters that were absent from the lineup. However, the substitutions could’ve been made a little earlier considering how terribly this team needs goals.