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Game Grades: Crew at New York City FC

How each Crew player fared in the team’s setback in the Big Apple

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at New York City FC Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC had its six-match unbeaten run stopped as the Black & Gold was topped 1-0 by the New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Crew was dominated for most of the match in the Bronx and, with several starters rested by head coach Caleb Porter, could not respond to a first half goal from Valentin Castellanos.

Here’s how each player performed individually:

Eloy Room (6) – The goalkeeper was tested early in the match as he was forced into a big save in a shot from Castellanos before the 10-minute mark and kept the same level until the end, when he stopped a finish from Keaton Parks. He wasn’t to blame on the goal and, except for a dangerous pass to Crognale near the end, Room was as solid as it gets.

Harrison Afful (4.5) – The Ghanaian was held back for most of the time as NYCFC aggressively attacked his side of the field and he couldn’t do much to stop most of their attempts. He didn’t track Castellanos on his run to score the first goal either. Offensively, Afful didn’t produce to his standards.

Jonathan Mensah © (5.5) – The veteran wore the team’s captain’s armband and had a good night for the most part, leading the team in clearances (6) and interceptions (3). He was solid on the ball too, connecting 85 percent of his passes, but his lack of communication with Afful on who should track Castellanos on the goal can’t be overlooked.

Alex Crognale (4.5) – The young center back wasn’t as efficient as Mensah and ended the match with just one interception and three clearances. It was a fairly decent match for Crognale overall, but he could have helped Maloney in defending the far post crosses on their side of the defense.

Connor Maloney (6) – The fullback was constantly targeted by the several crosses which were launched towards the Crew’s penalty box and, despite his size, did a fine job in the air. He was also very solid defensively, leading the team with four tackles, but wasn’t nearly as effective when attacking.

Artur (6) – The Brazilian was somewhat overloaded in the first part of the first half due to Guzman’s struggles and had to cover a lot of ground on defense, registering three tackles and three interceptions. When the Costa Rican settled, Artur tried to help the team on offense, but didn’t create any real goal scoring opportunities.

David Guzman (5.5) – The Costa Rican reappeared in the starting lineup for the first time since July 13 and he needed quite some time to really get into the pace of the game. His performance improved gradually as the match went on and he made a very important stop inside the six-yard box in the final minutes to avoid a second goal.

Luis Argudo (5) – The midfielder was quiet for most of the first half but appeared twice in relatively dangerous situations with a pass that almost found Williams in a good spot and a frontal shot that Sean Johnson saved. His second half performance was just the same, with ups and downs.

Eduardo Sosa (4) – The Venezuelan got his fourth start this season and performed at his usual level, trying to push the team forward but having his runs slowed down by his questionable decisions. Porter’s patience with him lasted just 45 minutes and he was taken off at halftime.

David Accam (6) – The winger was the focal point of the Crew’s transition game and was the only to create some issues to the NYCFC’s backline in the first half with his runs down the left flank. He remained dangerous for a good portion of the second half until he got tired, but still led the team in shots with three.

Romario Williams (5) – The Jamaican forward was very active up top and fired two shots on target, but despite all his energy and efforts he didn’t have many oppoortunities until he was taken off in the 60th minute as he failed to combine with his teammates and insisted on individual plays.

Pedro Santos (5.5) - The Portuguese came off the bench at halftime and didn’t get to impact the game as much as Porter might have expected. The Crew certainly became a better team with him on field, but not better enough to really change the match.

Jordan Hamilton (6) – The forward made his debut for the Crew when he joined the game at the 60th-minute and had the team’s best chance to tie it on a shot from Accam that rebounded, but he headed it wide. He was more involved in the game than Williams, but was caught offside too often.

Luis Diaz (N/A) – The winger entered the match with 12 minutes to go and didn’t have enough time to really make an impact in the game.

Caleb Porter (5.5) – It’s hard to argue against his decision that the team needed to rest some starters, but much of the Crew’s offensive firepower was sacrificed with lineup he sent to the field even though this was a match his team would have to defend for the most part anyway. He tried to change the game with the pieces he had on the bench, but perhaps Diaz could have entered the match a little earlier.