Thursday, July 21, 2011

Loss to Galaxy. But Better from Crew.

Late night for the Crew and Crew fans alike. In it, the LA Galaxy proved too much for Columbus.

The LA Gear were organized and confident. Impressively so. Bruce Arena has a championship team here.

Even though it was a loss, I gotta say that Columbus looked the best they have all year in a 4-5-1 (at least I think it was that formation. Anor and Ekpo seemed to drift). Important to note that Mendoza went out early (4th min) and was replaced by Tom Heinemann up front. While it didn't net anything for the Crew, at least they were not tripping over themselves in the mid.

Tommy had his best game with the ball at his feet - which was nice to see. Good touches. As for the team core: Robbie Rogers was active (good). Gaven was solid (as always). Marshall, Miranda and Hesmer were zz tops (Marshall had standout game).

So what happened? How can the Crew play solid football and lose? First off. The Galaxy is a better team. 2nd off: Two players. Anor and Gehrig. Gehrig is all hustle and heart but might not be ready for this level (uh, ouch). Check the 30th and 38th minute. Ugly. Donovan made him look goofy on the first and the whiffed clearance at 38 was beyond embarrassing. Anor had a muggly one at 50. I'm calling out specific moments here because the Crew (including these two guys) played an otherwise solid game.

Donovan did his thing in the first half but disappeared in the 2nd. Beckham was involved the whole game which was nice to see. I fear this will be the last time I see him against the Crew. I appreciated the moment though. Ultimately, LA's Franklin came through with a screamer and a deflection off (who else) Gehrig.

Other Crew play.

Ekpo... I'm going to ask the same question with him as I did with Cunningham earlier this year, what is going on here? I'm curious if the Crew management brought in Tchani to start over Ekpo at this point. I'm not sure where Ekpo belongs. Good player but roams all over the pitch (sort of like Gardner did earlier in the year, hmm going to have to think on this issue more. coaching?). I'm hoping, Justin Meram will get some more chances as the season goes on.

One last note. Julius James was also noticeably a step off. Not terrible, but maybe the weakest link in the back 4.

Predictable loss for Columbus, but memorable for solid football and the perspective angle that it good to see what the team might look like in the future without hired gun, Mendoza.


Quick turnaround for the Crew. Back home Saturday.

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