Monday, March 20, 2017

Rd. 3: Crognale shines in forgettable game

1st-year player and locally raised Alex Crognale had a successful debut playing central defense for the Crew as they went on to see off DC United 0-2, in Washington.

The takeaways beyond the Crognale, are slim. Last weekend's game was everything early season MLS is and has been for the past handful of years. Sloppy play, lumpy surface, and varying degrees of interest from players on both sides.

DC is a bad team this year. They haven't scored a single goal through three games and have given up six. To make matters worse, they only real threat they had in attack (Patrick Mullins) pulled a hamstring in the opening half hour of the game.

Things weren't much better on the Columbus side. While they did create a couple good chances, they ended up playing most the match close to the chest due to (finally) rolling out a new formation that often times left a six(!) player back line (Afful, Williams, Trapp, Crognale, Naess, Riatala). Ben Olsen's DC side had no key to unlock that besides crossing it in (29 times!) towards a poor José Guillermo Ortiz or trying to play it over the top of a non-existent Crew midfield.

In the end, the formation change worked out for Columbus. Olsen sucks at figuring that stuff out, even if he bothers to try and Columbus benefitted from incredibly poor play in the box from fringe USMNT player Steve Birnbaum that resulted in two penalties for Columbus.

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