Sunday, May 15, 2011

Crew Status Quo Burnt

The Crew's impressive seven game non-loosing streak ended ugly late last night. In the span of 13 minutes the San Jose Earthquakes put three goals past Hesmer and his stingy defense.
It's easy to get critical after a bad loss, isn't it? It was a late game for an eastern time zone team and there were some sloppy plays that, one could argue, showed that. But there may be more to this game.
Early on in this game I felt coach Warzycha was just hanging to the things that kept his team from loosing over the past couple months. You could tell the water was rising about 15 minutes into the game. The goals were in a bunch - but once it got to 1-0 right out of the gate in the 2nd half I was wondering, as the announcing crew was, what the changes there would be. Shortly after, at 2 nil, part of me got excited to see the Crew in full attack mode with folks coming off the bench, but alas... it didn't happen until after the 3rd goal.

When it did happen.
Looking like a caged lion; Tommy Heinemann came on in the 66th minute. He proved to be just that in the last quarter hour mixing it up with the Earthquakes even causing a San Jose player to get sent off with 10 minutes to play. Gaven and Rogers finally had a target in the middle after struggling in the first 60 minutes with Renteria. 10 minutes after Heinemann, Ekpo came on. This opened up things a little bit more in San Jose's third.

It's hard to tell anything once a team is down by three. But the short time Ekpo and Heinemann were on makes me want to see more of those guys this year. It was only 15 minutes and Renteria and his straight forward style of play stayed on. I would have preferred to see Mendoza and Heinemann up front, Ekpo at CAM, Gaven and Rogers out wide - with no Renteria. Call it a diamond or whatever. This kind of thinking is more for bleeno but I think it is worth a shot when your team is not scoring goals (all year).

Again, easy to just discount the things the team has done right this year when a loss comes. But I think this is an important one to learn from. It's been no secret that Columbus is struggling scoring this year and this game embarrassingly exposed it. The back line and Hesmer have already proved to be solid. It's important at this point in the season to try a couple different things in the middle and up front. But who am I.

- Brad Ring in the MF for the Earthquakes keeping Ryan Johnson and Wondolowski dangerous.
- SJ: Steven Lenhart. Funny to see him taken down in the first 3 seconds of the game. But it was probably the wrong thing to do.
- SJ: Khari Stephenson had (one of) the best goal(s) in the MLS I've seen all year.
- CREW: Heinemann for doing the kind of things every team needs. He is young, but he is football savvy.
- CREW: Rogers seemed off and Dilly was all hustle (which is the norm now) but no quality (which is also becoming troublingly normal)
- GAVEN: Gaven was Gaven in my GAVEN category. I liked the shots he took because Renteria was having trouble getting free. They were on target, gotta take them.
- CREW: Ekpo shinned in his short time out. Wow, was he impressive in the middle.
- Balchan and Miranda had a rough night out. The weakest on the team (last night). I'm worried about the play of Miranda.
- CREW: Burns had good touches. If I get a chance, I will watch again for his positioning during the 13 minute goal festival. On first watch, he played well.


Bleeno said...

still haven't had a chance to watch this game. but i'm not surprised about Miranda. and Renteria looks like he's more comfortable as a lone striker. he can hold up the ball pretty well. but nobody is really making a load of crosses into the box. Gaven ain't a touchline sort of winger. he wants to come inside instead of driving down the line to shoot in a cross. i think a 4-3-1-2, as you say, would be a nice formation. or 4-2-2-2. with two CDMs. Rogers and Gaven for width. and 2 forwards, one just behind the other.

Larry W Johnson II said...

agreed on gaven. he is dangerous in the middle but likes to drop back. limits him up front maybe?. i'm having a hard time trying to figure out who can get spread the field and get crosses in outside of rogers. but even he has had a hard go the past couple games. maybe duka? he seems to like the middle as well though. the right side seemed empty last game. hmph