Sunday, April 1, 2012

Crew Game 3 Recap (Win)

1. Keep Starting Bernardo Anor

2. Eric Gehrig is Good at Soccer

3. Fox Sports Ohio Disappoints

Columbus traveled up the road to visit Toronto FC for MLS Round 4 (game 3 for Crew snd TFC) and earned a 1-0 win. Bernardo Anor provided the game's lone goal.

This was the only game on at 2 PM Saturday afternoon so any neutral viewers coming into it expecting any semblance of fireworks probably left disappointed. Crew matches at BMO field tend to be low scoring, oft sluggish affairs and this one wasn't much different. 7 total meetings, 13 goals between the two at BMO. 2 Crew wins, 5 draws. 2007 was the other Crew win.

1. Bernardo Anor's starting record is now a team best of 5 W, 1 D, 2 L going back to the start of last year (starters >5 games).

Anor isn't known as an overtly hard worker or a bruiser or an emotional player. Nor does he carry an 'aw shucks' shoulder slump and he isn't from the mid-west. He wasn't splash signing. In fact, he's practically devoid of all the qualities the Crew faithful usually gravitate towards.

Yesterday he was matched up against an above average MLS player in Richard Eckersley. Most of the game on that left side those two battled it out. It wasn't always pretty but Anor outplayed him.

Anor's touch sometimes lets him down but he knows where to be. He knows how to get the ball into dangerous areas. He knows how to pull that RB out when he has to and forces him to stay home when he should be advancing on the attack. Most importantly: Anor know's how to Win at the MLS level. A characteristic that his counterpart Dilly Duka (4 W, 4 D, 10 L) decidedly does not know how to do.

Watch the Vargas goal from last week closely. Anor shields (obliterates) the Montreal defender allowing Vargas space to swoop in. This is not something Duka has ever shown the willingness to do to this point of his career in Columbus.

2. Eric Gehrig had the best game of his professional career. Involved a lot and yesterday. His confidence was through the roof. He is one of those guys that just keeps improving as time passes.

With that performance, Gehrig has earned more starting chances. O'Rourke, to me, should stay in the CDM spot, Urso's current home. With Julius James still seemingly a ways out I think the CB tandem of Marshall and Gehrig is one we may become familiar with this year.

3. Fox Sports Ohio didn't travel their announcing team to Toronto. My suspicions arose when the green screen cutout was worse than normal at the start and then confirmed at half when they showed the game callers at the all too familiar FS OHIO game desk.

I don't know where that desk is located exactly (near Cleveland I think) but it is a very familiar setting for the Cavs and Blue Jackets fans. It's disappointing that the play callers didn't travel.

Don't think the Dispatch beat writer traveled either.

If that's the case than we had remote coverage on a televised game which was covered in the paper by a beat writer watching that remote coverage. If this is the case going forward than FS Ohio should just broadcast the 2008 games over again.

On the announcing: Dwight Burgess.

It could have been the fact they weren't at the game but he read the game poorly. He also has a hard time not talking yesterday.

Knowingly or not Duncan Oughton often has to provide somesort of explanation to counter a Burgess "negative pass" (back pass, I'm assuming) comment or misguided [player x] "...having a horrible game" in a grating/berating coach sort of way.

Mr. Burgess has been with the Crew for a long time. He is part of that family. He is a serviceable play caller but listening to him is too often like traveling back in time to American Soccer 1998.

Let the game do the talking.


• More important 3 points earned from a team the Crew can beat. The summer portion of the schedule will be brutal for the Crew this year.

• Francis and Miranda stayed home for most of this match, good coaching, that.

• Can't argue with two consecutive shut outs but you can argue with only 2 goals during run of play in 3 games. Similar rate as last year and 2012 preseason and not good enough to raise the team to higher levels. Still wanting more team play from Renteria. Both he and Vargas had quiet games but too much holding play is still stopping with Emilio.

• Urso is playing his role well enough. It does seem as if the game is being played around him at times. Mirosevic is going box to box and still nabbing balls that Urso should be taking care of.

• After lots of turnover over that last 1.5 years and many injuries, nice to see similar 18 dressing for two weeks in a row (Gehrig only change over last week). It's the little things.

Further analysis on Bernardo Anor's contributions to the Crew. Link.

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