Sunday, March 18, 2012

Exhibition Saturday

Columbus played two Exhibitions yesterday. In the first, the starting team beat Michigan State 5-1. The second saw Crew backups and Reserves beat West Virginia University 1-0.

Mirosevic scored off two set pieces from similar placements on the pitch (atop the 18 yd. box). Olman Vargas was in the scoring mood as well, scoring two off crosses during open play. One high from Shaun Francis that he headed in. The other was a low searching ball from Miranda in the box that Olman, facing the cross, deftly let roll slightly past his planted left foot then flicked it in with his right behind his left heal from a few yards out. Kirk Urso fired one from 20+ yards late to take the days tally up to 5 goals.

It was exciting to see clear Crew roles and responsibilities against Michigan St.

Kirk Usro was responsible for defensive support from the MF. Mirosevic played box to box. Finlay and Gaven ran the wings. It widened the play well. It'll be interesting to see if the Crew can dictate this shape to opponents in the coming weeks.

In the Back, the pairing of Eric Gehrig and Chad Marshall anchored and worked well with Miranda and Francis out wide. Decent workout from MSU forwards, only a late one got by.

Up front, Vargas looked much more comfortable with Renteria holding things up and working the MSU backline. Renteria ran the MSU players ragged. Literally. So much so that one MSU player just sort of crumpled to the ground around ~40 min. Warzycha yelled "half!" and the ref blew his whistle. Warzycha the merciful.

The 2nd game saw Crew backups and Reserves taking on (what looked to be) a pretty good WVU team. The match started well as Justin Meram and Finlay (both had playing time in each game) worked decently with Cole Grossman and Tony Tchani in the middle.

Trialist Aaron Schoenfeld again got matched up with Heinemann up top. Schoenfeld is chasing the game and isn't finding the right spots yet.

A recovering Meram and an out of gas Finlay provided some attacking pressure and positive play in the first half but the game was disjointed. Aaron Horton was subbed in late in the second half and put a nice shot in from the left side. Tchani provided the assist.

Interesting to see Tchani playing backup to Urso. At this point it is fair to say that the hardworking Urso has earned that spot. No Danny O'Rourke in either game but it may play out that the CDM depth is: Urso -> O'Rourke -> Tchani (if O'Rourke gets all healed up). That's an expensive Reserve Team player.

Important note: Urso plays an O'Rourkian style football.

Beautiful day at Columbus Crew Stadium.

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