Columbus Crew SC dealt with its first defeat in 2020 as the Black & Gold lost 1-0 to Eastern Conference last-placed New York City FC at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey on Monday night.
It was a rough offensive night for Columbus, which had its only real goal-scoring opportunities disallowed by offside and conceded a goal after a terrible turnover on the defensive end.
Here’s how each player performed in the evening:
Andrew Tarbell (5.5) – The goalkeeper had a scary start after he failed to make contact with the ball in an attempt to punch a corner kick could have ended badly for the Crew. He reacted well, though, and made a couple of important but not too difficult saves in the second half, including one at Jesus Medina’s feet.
Chris Cadden (5) – The Scottish bullback gave starter Harrison Afful some valuable rest and played a decent match. He wasn’t noticed much in the offensive half but showed good effort and some interesting skills on defense with two tackles and two interceptions.
Jonathan Mensah © (5.5) – The captain played below his recent standards and had a dangerous give away in the first half. He did a fine job in protecting the Crew’s penalty box with three tackles and one interception.
Aboubacar Keita (4) – The Homegrown defender had some ups and downs in the first half, going from a bad turnover that generated an easy counter-attacking opportunity for New York City to a well-timed block to deflect a close-range finish from Heber. He wasn’t as lucky in another poor give away during the second half which led to NYCFC’s game-winning goal, but still led the team in tackles with five.
Hector Jimenez (5) – The veteran was called to action at the left back spot once again and had a fine yet unspectacular performance. He did a decent job in preventing Medina from operating from his side of the field but didn’t create a lot offensively himself either.
Sebastian Berhalter (5) – The rookie played a solid match for the most part, shielding the backline with Nagbe (and later Artur) and moving the ball efficiently in the center of the field. If he manages to improve his defensive game a little bit, he could be a very useful piece for the Black & Gold.
Darlington Nagbe (5.5) – The midfielder tried to dictate the pace of the game in the center of the field, but was repeatedly fouled at the beginning of the match. He was moved forward during the second half in a moment in which the team had to attack but couldn’t connect the final pass the team needed.
Luis Diaz (4.5) – The Costa Rican was nowhere to be found for the most part of the first half, but had a couple of good runs in the final minutes, including one in which he should have finished better. After 12 minutes without much of an impact in the second half, he was taken off.
Pedro Santos (4.5) – The Portuguese needs to find a way to be more involved in the Crew’s offense when he plays in that central position as his first half performance was well below his standards. Back on his preferred right side for most of the second half, Santos was more dangerous with a couple of long-range attempts.
Derrick Etienne Jr. (4.5) – The winger found some space to operate behind Anton Tinnerholm’s back in the first half, but was offside on the best opportunity he managed to create. In the second half, Etienne failed to track the Sweede in what became a decent goal-scoring chance for the hosts and was replaced shortly after that.
Gyasi Zardes (5) – The striker wasn’t as dangerous as one would hope for, but he managed to make himself present in the match by combining with the wingers and tracking back to help on defense. He came off for Adi during the second half.
Emmanuel Boateng (4.5) – The recently-signed winger replaced Etienne on the left side but his presence didn’t really change the dynamics of the game as much as Porter might have expected. The Ghanaian attempted to make a few runs but didn’t really find the space he needed.
Artur (5) – The Brazilian entered the match right after New York City’s goal in a moment in which the Crew was losing the midfield battle. His presence helped to stabilize that area of the field but didn’t really help the team’s offense.
Milton Valenzuela (5) – The Argentinean fullback came in with 20 minutes still to be played as Columbus tried to push forward to tie the match but he couldn’t produce anything noteworthy on offense.
Fanendo Adi (5) – The striker replaced Zardes at the 70th-minute mark and tried to give the Crew more presence inside the penalty box. He managed to score a goal, but it was called off as he was offside.
Harrison Afful (N/A) – The right back came in in a final push to score and he had what was probably the team’s best pass in the final third, but unfortunately Adi was offside.
Caleb Porter (5) – The Crew had its first setback of the season in a match is which is wasn’t hugely inferior to its opponent, but made a terrible mistake in the back and was punished for it. The coach needs to find a solution for the team’s lack of offensive creativity when Lucas Zelarayan doesn’t play, though, as Santos hasn’t been a shadow of himself when deployed at the No. 10 spot.
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