Saturday, July 2, 2011

Keep FC Dallas Out of the Box

After winning a couple games against mid-table / mid-talent teams tonight's road game against FC Dallas is going to tell us who the Crew are and what they are made of.

FC Dallas is a formatible team at this point in the season. They are 2nd in the league in Points (31) and Points per Game (1.82). They are also the 2nd highest scoring team in the league (1.42 GF p/Game). All that combines to equal a solid 2nd in my own Power Ranking.

Their strength comes from an organized, building MF that eventually finds a number of players in the 18 yd box. Because of this they are good at winning corners and scoring off them (5 of their 24 goals off corner, Columbus doesn't have any).

The challenge for the Crew tonight will be to keep them out of there. The last time Columbus faced a team with a lone striker / loaded MF was Chicago. That game was ugly. Chicago was very content to play for the draw and come out with a win. An ugly loss for the team.

Chicago lines up with a more defensive MF though. FC Dallas has an attacking one that will keep Ekpo and Balchan back for much of the match. Columbus will have to work the counter attack effectively like they have for the past two games. Anor and Gaven (Rogers and Meram) will have to resist the temptation to play on their heels, trust in the teams strong back line and find holes to push balls up to Heinemann and Mendoza.

If they can't? Well, then we have a Crew stuck in their own muddy defensive 3rd as they were against Chicago.

If they can push up and win? We've got ourselves a team to be reckoned with here in Columbus.

Credit where credit is due. Both photos: NewsdayLaura.

No comments: