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Game Grades: Crew vs. Orlando City SC

The Black & Gold dropped another game on the road. Here is how the players performed.

SOCCER: SEP 04 MLS - Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Columbus Crew took a shorthanded group on the road on Saturday night, facing off against Orlando City SC. As has happened multiple times this year, the Black & Gold found themselves down 2-0 in the first half, only to battle back and tie the match. Unlike a couple of previous games this seasonn, the Crew was unable to hold on for a point, instead falling 3-2 to Orlando.

Like with any roller coaster game, there was some good with the bad of a defeat and some players played up to the standard while others did not. Let’s take a look at how each Columbus player performed in this contest.

Starters

Eloy Room (5.5) - The Crew goalkeeper suffered from not having a first-choice group in front of him once again, but couldn’t play Superman against Orlando. Room faced five shots and saw three of them go past him. All of the finishes saw players in front of him not do enough defensively and only maybe the third did Room have a chance at saving.

Harrison Afful (6.5) - This was one of the more active and effective games for Afful in recent outings. The right back got up and down the wing, severing in seven crosses and making two key passes. Defensively, he had one tackle, one interception and two clearances to give him a solid all-around performance.

Vito Wormgoor (5) - The Dutch center back was caught ball-watching on the second goal, allowing Silvester van der Water to get behind and have an easy finish. Wormgoor had another shaky moment in the second half, choosing to try and step near midfield and catch the opponent offside. Other than those poor decisions, the center back played well enough with one interception and one blocked shot while completing seven of his 11 long balls.

Aboubacar Keita (4.5) - The Homegrown product recorded no defensive statistics in the game and struggled with the physicality of Daryl Dike on the first goal. If he’s stronger against the American striker, the Crew don’t go down 1-0 in the 26th minute and maybe the game turns out differently.

Waylon Francis (6) - As he has been in all of his recent games, Francis has played well defensively, using his knowledge of the game and not his athleticism. He had two tackles and one interception and picked his moments to get forward with one cross and seven long balls.

Darlington Nagbe (6) - It was clear that Orlando wanted to limit Nagbe’s effectiveness by man-marking him most of the night. This led to less activity than normal from the central midfielder with only 62 touches. Nagbe had no key passes and gave the ball away once under pressure.

Derrick Etinne Jr. (7) - The right winger was the focal point of the Black & Gold’s attack early in the game. He got forward often and found space with four crosses and one key pass. Etienne’s pass to Miguel Berry was crucial for the Crew pulling level in the second half.

Lucas Zelarayan (7) - As is typically the case when he’s on the field, Zelarayan was the key to Columbus’ attack. He led all attackers in touches with 67 and completed 81.6 percent of his passes, including six key passes, one to Etienne who found Berry. But the Argentine also attempted to dribble out of the back at the top of the penalty box, giving the ball away to Junior Urso for the Lions’ winning goal.

Pedro Santos (7) - Playing centrally alongside Zelarayan for most of the game, Santos was on the ball nearly as much as the Argentine with 66 touches. He too completed nearly 80 percent of his passes and had three shots and was fouled twice, once in a dangerous spot.

Alexandru Matan (6.5) - The young Romanian winger continues to show promise but is still growing into the game. He had a chance to score in the first half but didn’t get the shot off in time before losing the ball. The one shot he did get off was on target but saved.

Miguel Berry (7) - Berry was involved in both goals for the Black & Gold, challenging for a header on the play that resulted in the own goal and scoring the second with a nice finish. Berry’s movement, passing, pressing and how he gets himself involved in the game is still a work in progress.

Substitutes

Josh Williams (7) - After being out for almost three months, the center back made his return off the bench, coming in for Keita in the 53rd minute. Most of what Williams brought to the game can’t be measured in stats — he had three long balls, one interception and one clearance — but rather the lift he gave his team by stepping back on the field. Williams is the heart and soul of this group and he settled down the backline and helped raise the level of play on the pitch after checking into the game.

Eric Hurtado (6) - Coming into the contest after the Crew pulled level, Hurtado didn’t do much on the right wing with just nine touches. Urso scored shortly after Hurtado entered the game, meaning he pushed higher over the final 21 minutes but he couldn’t get on the end of any balls into the penalty box.

Isaiah Parente (6) - Like Hurtado, Parente came in and wasn’t all that involved, although he did complete 91 percent of his 23 pass attempts.

Bradley Wright-Phillips (6) - Tasked to come in the game and look for another equalizer for the Black & Gold, Wright-Phillips did okay, getting on the ball seven times and recording three shots. But none of his efforts were on target and he couldn’t help pull the game level.

Head coach

Caleb Porter (6.5) - Porter didn’t have a lot of options given the number of players that remain out of action or were added to the availability report this week. The head coach didn’t have enough players to fill his bench. Porter did the best with what was available, changing his team’s shape to best fit the personnel. He kept his team attacking in the second half as Columbus got back into the game, but mistakes at the back were too costly in this one.