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Game Grades: Crew at Colorado Rapids

The Black & Gold got a draw on the road. Here’s how the players performed.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Crew traveled to face the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night, facing a few familiar faces, including the recently traded Gyasi Zardes. The Crew continued the team’s solid road form this year, coming home with a 1-1 draw against the Rapids.

Columbus got off to a great start, scoring the first goal of the match in the 5th minute. After being on the front foot for the first half hour, the altitude seemed to take its toll on the starting 11, causing the team to absorb all of Colorado’s attacks until halftime, including giving up a penalty kick that led to the equalizer just before the break. The Black & Gold were able to hang on and get at least a point out of the match.

Let’s take a look at how the Crew players performed in this game.

Starters

Eloy Room (6.0) - The Black & Gold goalkeeper didn’t have too much to do in this game with just two saves. The only goal of the game for the Rapids came off a penalty kick, which is never to the advantage of the goalkeeper.

Pedro Santos (7.5) - Santos was very active against the Rapids, getting down the left flank and setting up Columbus’ goal. His work rate defensively was on display, going against opposing wingers one-on-one deep in his own half.

Jonathan Mensah (7.0) - Mensah had a solid performance in Colorado. The center back kept Zardes mostly quiet throughout the night and dominated the aerial game, helping keep Colorado away from the face of the goal for the majority of the match.

Milos Degenek (6.5) - Degenek also had a solid game, blocking two shots and managing three total clearances. The center back was clean in nearly everything he did.

Steven Moreira (6.5) - Moreira had an average game, despite being at fault for the goal. His offensive presence wasn’t felt as much against the Rapids, but he was strong defensively doing whatever was necessary to clear the ball.

Derrick Etienne Jr. (6.0) - Etienne played 80 minutes against the Rapids and didn’t do much. Offensively, he wasn’t as active and creative as in the past, though he was solid defensively. Etienne’s link-up play in the attack helped to create the opening goal, a bright spot in an otherwise dull game for the Haitian.

Darlington Nagbe (6.5) - Nagbe was a neutral presence on the field for the Crew in this one. He was very quiet tonight on both sides of the ball, with most of his action happening right after the Black & Gold gained possession back as the first outlet man to alleviate the pressure.

Artur (7.0) - Artur played all but one minute Saturday and his field presence was second to none. The Brazilian midfielder found his rhythm in his third game back from injury as he anchored the midfield defensively winning two tackles and restoring possession nine times throughout the game.

Luis Diaz (6.5) - Diaz subbed out of the game in the 71st minute but during his time on the pitch, he was very active. The winger found himself in many one-on-one scenarios but was unable to get the final cross into a good position in the penalty box.

Lucas Zelerayan (7.5) - Zelerayan orchestrated the Columbus attack all game, switching the field when necessary as well as distributing the ball into dangerous areas. The playmaker’s field awareness was on full display in times of transition as once the ball was played into his foot, he was able to find a teammate to capitalize on a counter attack.

Cucho Hernandez (8.0) - Hernandez opened the scoring in the fifth minute of the match and ended the game with six shots, two of which were on target. Along with creating chances himself, he was fouled 3 times creating more opportunities.

Substitutes

Erik Hurtado (6.0) - Hurtado entered the match in the 71st minute. While the game didn’t have much fluidity, Hurtado, playing on the wing, found his way in the game to make an impact with two shots, one on target.

James Igbekeme (6.0) - Igbekeme came into the match with 10 minutes left and because of that, he wasn’t able to provide much of an impact on the match.

Aidan Morris (N/A) - Morris entered the match in stoppage time of the second half and was just on the field to see out the game.

Head Coach

Caleb Porter (6.5) -

The game plan going into this match was very successful, however, the altitude and overall physicality the team played with tired them out very quick in both the first half and second half. Porter knew this wouldn’t be an easy game and found a way to get yet another result on the road.