Monday, May 30, 2016

Crew SC Need a Solid Performance

One more match for Crew SC before the league takes a knee for Copa America this weekend. It's tough to say if it's coming at a good or bad time for the team.

With Saturday's result, they have climbed from 16th on the overall combined table to 14th this week - and on the form table (last 6 games) they are 9th. Pointed in the right direction, but still mid-table, and not quite good enough to get them solidly positioned in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

At this point last year, the combined table was shouting at us, telling us who stunk. In fact, it couldn't be more clear. The four Eastern teams bouncing around the bottom of the table at this point last year were never able to climb back into the playoff picture.

2015 East Table, June 9th, 2015
PPG : Team... GD (per game)
1.75 : DC United... 0.31
1.58 : Toronto FC... 0.25
1.40 : New England Rev... 0.00
1.40 : Montreal Impact... -0.20
1.31 : Columbus Crew... 0.00
1.21 : New York Red Bulls... 0.00
1.14 : Chicago Fire... -0.07
1.08 : Philadelphia Union... -0.23
0.94 : Orlando City... -0.44
0.79 : New York City FC... -0.43

2016 East Table, May 30th, 2015
PPG : Club... GD (per game)
1.54 : Philadelphia... 0.31
1.46 : Montreal... 0.15
1.36 : New York... 0.29
1.29 : New York City FC... -0.43
1.23 : Orlando City SC... 0.15
1.23 : D.C.... 0.00
1.23 : Toronto FC... -0.08
1.17 : Columbus... -0.17
1.14 : New England... -0.43
0.92 : Chicago... -0.33

The expectation is NYCFC to drop out of the position they are in. Who replaces them, though? Is it Toronto's talented group? Or how about New England. In either case, this is a spot that Columbus does not want to be.

The good news is that Anthony Precourt and Gregg Berhalter have started working on the problem. Kei Kamara has been moved (which, one could argue, is a player the Crew didn't expect on having this year) out and position battles are finally happening.

Is it enough? The severe issue we saw on display this past weekend against Real Salt Lake was a complete lack of discipline in a desirous attempt to get Ola Kamara a bucket full of goals.

After going up 4-l late in the game Crew SC were not willing to lock up the shop and take home the victory. It was a frustrating watch as attack after attack was still being made deep into the 2nd half. It exposed a makeshift defense and nearly allowed for another 3 goal comeback from a visiting team.

It was to the point at the end of this match, after RSL scored goal three, that it felt like a loss. You could even see it on the player's faces.

Columbus travels over to Philly on Wednesday to take on a flat Union side. You never want to place too much importance on a single game, but it is critically important that Crew SC have a good game. One that they control. After an out of control first dozen games, it's much needed.

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