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Game Grades: Crew vs FC Cincinnati

How did the Black & Gold rate in their first #HellIsReal match?

MLS: FC Cincinnati at Columbus Crew SC
Connor Maloney fights for possession against Joseph-Claude Gyau of FC Cincinnati
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC now ride a five-game unbeaten streak after making a two-goal comeback against in-state rivals FC Cincinnati to earn a 2-2 draw in the first installment of the MLS version the Hell Is Real Derby.

Although Cincinnati dominated most of the first half, Columbus fought from behind to salvage a point.

So, how did each player fare in the match?

Eloy Room (5.7) - Room was caught flatfooted on the Darren Mattocks goal. Although it seemed like center back Alex Crognale was pulled out of position just a bit, Room was left to fend for himself as the header found the back of the net.

He did just a tad bit better on the second goal by Emanuel Ledesma, getting a hand on the shot but it still found the back of the net.

Connor Maloney (6.4): This match was the first start since 2017 for the Penn State alum. He did not fare well, to say the least. Five tackles is impressive for someone who has only seen the pitch twice, but he ended the night with 79 minutes under his belt and didn’t really have am impact on the match.

Jonathan Mensah (6.7): The Ghana native had a decent showing, letting off three shots and winning seven aerial battles. Jonathan had a good look on goal in the dying minutes of the match when his header was well on target, but did not find the back of the net.

Alex Crognale (6.5): The Ohio native had a decent outing. Although getting a yellow card within the first 20 minutes of the match, he really stepped up his game. Crognale got into the game as it went on, and put on a good showing, but it wasn’t good enough. That first goal really brought his grade down.

Harrison Afful (6.9): Afful was definitely the besst defender out of the back four. With a 73 percent passing percentage, he did his job decently. There were times where he got beat by Cincinnati attackers but he a good outing, playing a full 90 minutes for the Black & Gold.

Wil Trapp (6.7) Trapp wasn’t that busy during the match. His passing was good, positioning was good and overall it was just a normal day at the office for the captain.

Artur (6.3): The midfielder was mainly invisible for the entire match, Artur did very little to help get his team steal three points. He was out of the play for a few minutes after getting hurt in the first half, but came back into the match.

Luis Diaz (6): After performing well in previous matches for the Crew, this match was not Diaz’s best performance. Multiple times at the beginning of the game, Diaz made bad passes and gave away the ball too many times, allowing Cincinnati to counter attack and get around the Crew backline. His shot on goal was nice though.

Pedro Santos (7.6): Santos was almost on the same page as Diaz in the match. Too many times he got dispossessed and passed to the wrong team. He’s been good in the No. 10 role, filling in for Federico Higuain as of late, but in an intense match like this, Santos had to stand on his head, which he did not. However, his rocket of a goal that equalized the game earned him such a relatively good rating.

Luis Argudo (6.1): Argudo, who had been praised recently in previous matches for his performance, was nowhere to be seen on the pitch. Just like the entire midfield (except Santos), there was nothing impressive about Argudo and his play.

Gyasi Zardes (7.8): Zardes helped get the Black & Gold within one in the first half after earning a penalty kick just before halftime. He converted, which helped the Crew gain the momentum to come out strong in the second half. His rating would be better had he not glanced a sitter off of the crossbar in the dying minutes of the match.

David Accam (6.1): Accam played a little over 25 minutes in the match, but didn’t have an immediate impact like a substitute. However, he had a good run late in the game, drawing two yellow cards on one play.

Romario Williams (6.1): Nothing can be really said about Romario Williams. Playing just over 20 minutes, there was nothing Williams did to really make an impact. Coming on late to help give the attack a push may have did something, but it wasn’t good enough.

Youness Mokhtar (6.6): The most dominant of the three substitutes, Mokhtar made his MLS and Crew debut in the 53rd minute. Fans can see why Caleb Porter and company made this purchase. The speed that was added on to the pitch, and the style of play that he brings is second to none. Although his stats were low, he took two shots that were good and definitely threatened FC Cincinnati.

Caleb Porter (6.8): His team let in two goals in the first half against its rivals. Not a dream first half for any manager. After getting the goal to bring them within one, Porter’s team was on to something. The second half belonged to the Crew and thankfully Santos helped lift the grade of his head coach. Porter is also riding a five-game unbeaten streak, starting with a 2-2 draw against the Chicago Fire just a few weeks back.