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Game Grades: Crew at San Jose Earthquakes

How did the Black & Gold perform in another gritty road draw?

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at San Jose Earthquakes Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC continued its unbeaten streak on Saturday night in the team’s 1-1 draw at the San Jose Earthquakes. This made it four straight games with a result as the Crew attempts to turn around what was a dreadful summer.

While it was not the best performance, with the Earthquakes dominating in possession and game control, the Black & Gold once again found a way to get a point in a match, something the team may have to do the rest of the 2019 season if there is any chance of reaching the MLS Cup playoffs.

Let’s take a look at how each player fared in the game:

Eloy Room (8) - Although he is yet to record a shutout since joining the Crew, Room has stepped in and returned the level at goalkeeper the Black & Gold missed when Zack Steffen left in June. Once again Room was big in this match, making four saves and only conceding on a penalty kick. He also is keeping the defense more organized, an underrated attribute for a goalkeeper.

Harrison Afful (7) - The Crew’s right back did not have a good first half, making multiple mistakes and committing the handball that led to the penalty kick — although he was trying to turn his back. Afful recovered in the second half, playing better defensively with a team-high six interceptions, helping to hold on for the draw.

Alex Crognale (6.5) - The young center back had a solid outing defensively. He blocked two shots and recorded two clearances, important statistics for a team that was defending for large portions of the game.

Aboubacar Keita (7.5) - The game plan for Keita went out the window early when Jimenez picked up an injury. The center back moved to the left and did well out wide. He registered four tackles, three interceptions and three clearances and even got involved in the attack as the game progressed.

Hector Jimenez (N/A) - It was a short and unfortunate night for the left back. Just a few minutes into the match, Jimenez had an awkward collision and appeared to injure his knee. He was eventually stretchered from the sideline and substituted after nine minutes.

Wil Trapp © (6) - Trapp was his normal self, moving the ball for the Crew with a 90.7 percent passing accuracy. But the midfielder was unable to help break up a number of Earthquakes attacks and had just one key pass.

Artur (4.5) - The Brazilian played well in recent matches, earning his starting spot back, but struggled against San Jose’s playing style. Too often he turned the ball over — just less than 80 percent accuracy — and was a no show on the defensive side of the field.

Luis Argudo (6.5) - While it wasn’t his best performance in the recent run of matches, Argudo still played well enough, making runs and keeping the ball. His shot from distance in the first half was a sign of a player playing with confidence. He was replaced after 62 minutes.

Pedro Santos (7.5) - The Portuguese winger continues to show his capabilities in the middle of the field. He was important for the Crew once again with one key pass and two shots.

Luis Diaz (7.5) - In his first start for the Black & Gold, Diaz came alive in the second half after a quiet first half. Not only did he have the fantastic run that led to his assist, but he got on the ball often and was the most dangerous player for the Crew offensively with three key passes.

Gyasi Zardes (7) - There were good and bad moments for the Columbus forward. Zardes was isolated up top for much of the night and was unable to create much on his own. His three shots led the Black & Gold but he only put one on target. Fortunately, it found the back of the net.

Jonathan Mensah (7) - After missing several matches with an injury picked up while on international duty, Jonathan made his return in this game earlier than expected, coming in for the injured Jimenez. Despite not being fully fit, Jonathan played well in helping to hold the Quakes to just one goal with eight clearances and two interceptions.

David Accam (6) - The Ghanian came in in the 62nd minute as the Crew looked for the equalizer. Accam got on the ball but struggled to keep control and completed just over half of his pass attempts.

Romario Williams (6) - Williams entered the game with 14 minutes to play as the Black & Gold shifted to a 4-4-2 to try and close out the match. While he did little offensively, Williams was willing to help out on the defensive side, which is what Columbus needed.

Caleb Porter (7) - After last week’s brilliant tactical game, the Crew head coach didn’t get everything right in this contest. San Jose really bossed the match and probably should have scored a couple of goals in the first half as Columbus struggled to get the ball out of their own half for stretches. But Porter made tweaks at halftime and the Black & Gold were better, eventually getting the equalizer. A point in this match was important and Porter’s team got that.