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Games Grades: Crew vs. CF Montreal

See how the individual Black & Gold performances were graded in a heartbreaking draw.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at CF Montreal Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Some draws feel like a win. Some draws feel like a draw. The Columbus Crew’s Friday night 2-2 road draw with CF Montreal, however, definitely felt like a loss.

The Crew took a 2-0 lead into the 89th minute and walked away sharing the points. The Black & Gold did well to get the advantage, but a red card in the 76th minute meant the team played with 10 men to close out the game and some fortunate deflections for Montreal resulted in the tie.

Let’s look at how Columbus performed individually in the match.

Starters

Eloy Room (7.0) – Room ended up tying his season high in saves with eight. And while the goalkeeper wasn’t able to keep a clean sheet, both goals were off of unfortunate deflections. Much like the Crew, Room played well for the majority of the game, but struggled with the organization of the defense against Montreal’s continuous pressure.

William Sands (6.5) – Sands was effective for the Crew defensively at left back and did a good job positioning himself. His four blocked shots were second on the team and helped stave off several likely efforts from Montreal.

Jonathan Mensah (7.5) – Mensah was great for the Crew, both offensively and defensively. His goal was a well-earned reward for his continued work pressing up on free kicks. On Montreal’s first goal, he appeared to get caught a little flat-footed, but he finished the game with 11 clearances, anchoring a backline that held up well under a ton of Montreal pressure until the collapse in the final minutes.

Milos Degenek (6.5) – Degenek did well with six clearances, three interceptions and a blocked shot. His defensive presence was strong, but he did not do a ton in support of the Black & Gold’s offensive efforts, although that’s not a part of his game.

Steven Moreira (7.0) – Moreira has been a consistent presence for the Columbus backline recently and was rewarded for his continued offensive efforts with an assist on the Crew’s first goal.

Aidan Morris (6.5) – This was a better performance from Morris than in recent games, with his defensive energy and scrambling mentality paying dividends for the Black & Gold throughout the game. He led the team with seven blocked shots and had a 91 percent passing accuracy, which helped Columbus keep possession at times during the match.

Darlington Nagbe (6.0) – Nagbe wasn’t a huge factor in this game, which in and of itself is a negative for the Crew. The Black & Gold’s All-Star settled for short defensive passes consistently instead of the forward-searching runs and passes that contribute to Columbus’ offense when it’s at its best. He wasn’t poor tonight, but the Crew needs more from one of the team’s best players.

Luis Diaz (5.5) – The red card may have not been seen by all, but it was still a red card offense, regardless of the minimal contact. Diaz can’t kick out an opponent, especially when his team needs him to help close out the game. Going down a man hurt the Black & Gold but losing Diaz’s pace, which caused problems on the right wing all night, was really an issue llate.

Lucas Zelarayán (7.0) – Zelarayán has struggled to display his scoring touch this season, but he certainly brought it in this game. His goal was a fantastic volley off the initially blocked shot. Columbus’ No. 10 played well throughout the night and was effective at passing and controlling the game.

Derrick Etienne Jr. (6.0) – Etienne finished the game with two shots in his 80 minutes of game action before he was subbed off. He connected well on the left side of the pitch and his long run and clever passing directly led to the Crew’s second goal.

Cucho Hernandez (7.5) – Hernandez finished the game with a pedestrian three shots, two of them on target and was credited with the assist on the Crew’s second goal, although the ball just hit his backside. Hernandez was a strong presence for the team until his 83rd minute substitution.

Substitutes

Artur (5.0) – Artur was a defensive substitute following the red card to help the team survive the final few minutes of the game. His major impact was failing to close out Zachary Brault-Guillard, who made the long effort equalizer in the dying moments of stoppage time.

Josh Williams (5.0) – Williams was part of the defensive shift when he was subbed on in the 80th minute and was lucky not to be credited with an own goal based on his deflection that led to the equalizer finding the back of the net. While he finished the game with two clearances, he didn’t do enough in his short time on the field to keep Montreal from tying the game up.

Erik Hurtado (5.5) – Hurtado came on as an 83rd minute sub and was expected to be an outlet for Crew with his speed and hold up play. He did his job, but didn’t have much support to keep the ball in the attacking end of the field.

Head coach

Caleb Porter (5.0) – It’s not the fact that the Black & Gold tied that is earning Porter criticism from both fans and MLS commentators alike. It’s the way in which Columbus was once again unable to protect a lead in the dying minutes of the game. This has unfortunately become a trend with this team and they have continued to throw away needed points. Porter’s change in tactics make sense on paper but haven’t worked too many times.