Sunday, June 5, 2011

Meram The Brave, Crew and Red Bulls 1

Even without a handful of players lost to the upcoming Gold Cup the New York Red Bulls still start very good team. But their lack of depth hurt them during a hot night at Red Bull Arena. The key moment for me was when Jan Gunnar Solli had to leave the game in the 28th minute due to injury and was replaced by Matt Kassel. In Solli's absence the Crew took advantage of the left side of the pitch and in the end equalized in stoppage time.

The Crew's defense was solid last night after conceding the early goal. NY clearly wasn't done after scoring one an the Crew kept them out. No easy task when you are facing constant pressure an in form Henry, Lindpere and Luke Rodgers.

After a flurry of up and down play right after the 2nd half started it was clear the Red Bulls were content with getting out of the game with a 1-0 win. In the last 10 minutes there were some desperate time wasting maneuvers. One such maneuver found Justin Meram and Luke Rodgers get tangled up in the corner. Meram (the Brave) got a couple good shoves off on Rodgers and somewhat remarkably Rodgers didn't retaliate. Though, I'm sure Meram got an earful of Queen's English after the altercation.

That fight and spark was refreshing to see that late in the match. Shortly thereafter Meram broke loose from Kassel on a great ball from Ekpo and crossed it in to Balchan for the equalizer. Probably a moment that will be remembered after this season is over.The heat got to both teams but it benefited the Crew. It didn't look like NY had anybody on the bench to sub in.

-Duka, for me, finally had a good game with the ball around his feet. He has always been able to stop on a dime and turn it's just the ball hasn't been going with him. Last night it was.

-Julius James got caught chasing Rodgers and cost the Crew an early goal. He admitted as much after the game. James is a good defender but over the past month he has had some costly mistakes.

-The entire Red Bull team in the second half was in shutdown mode. I'm not sure they had any other choice.

-Duka and Tom Heinemann both went out due to injury, should be interesting how the attacking front looks with two games still on the schedule this week.

-Mendoza was sloppy with his finishing but his play wasn't terrible.

-Cunningham. A couple plays stuck out for me where he just lost the ball in space then went to ground (once recklessly sliding into a NY player). I like how much ground he covers but there were a couple cringe worthy moments for him last night.

-Fun post game report with Balchan and Meram. Ashleigh Ignelzi! Richie Rich! Great to see a couple young mid-western kids have a moment like this. Helps in knocking some of the stink ugliness that's been going on around greater Columbus with the Buckeyes. Wish the local paper made more of it. I'm tired of hearing about the Buckeye's. This town needs a positive sports story.

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