Sunday, May 6, 2012

Crew Game 8, Late Night 0-0 Draw (POR)

Portland v. Columbus. Two struggling and desperate teams got together at 10:30 PM EST last night for some FAST PACED MLS ACTION.

Portland tried their darnedest to get that goal but couldn't find that finishing touch. Meanwhile, Ethan Finlay started up top for Columubus and drained all his "afterburners" in the first 15 minutes leaving Renteria in the defending forward role, leaving the Crew toothless.

Some real intensity down on the field. Both teams felt that 3 points were in reach but neither deserved them. Disjointed action and late challenges wrote the script here. Ultimately, the Columbus Centerback pairing of Eric Gehrig and Josh Williams keep out former Scottish PL goal scorer Kris Boyd (Williams doing most of the heavy lifting).

Andy Gruenebaum had a busy day stopping 6 shots on target.

• Josh Williams (6) has more shots in less minutes than Ethan Finlay (3) this year.

• Only Crew players with a per game shot rate lower than Finlay are guys with ZERO shots. That zero shot list includes: Gruenebaum, Miranda, O'Rourke and Gehrig.

• Finlay is being ruined. Gassed himself in the first part of the game and hung Renteria out to dry. Renteria ended with ZERO shots yesterday.

• Portland is a poor club.

• This Finlay / Renteria pairing is one that I haven't even seen in scrimmages. That includes the OSU match last Tuesday. What sort of logic was Crew Coach Warzycha employing?

• Columbus has now only won 4 in their last 18 games. This is the worst 18 game run I can find, going back to 2007.

• Over the past two games, Josh Williams has shown himself to be one of the (if not, the) best players on the field.

• More on Williams: He plays the way he talks. What does he talk about? Things you don't hear coming out of the Crew locker rooms enough this year... Battling, sticking together, trash talking, toughness, teamwork and respect for opponents. And that's just after one game. LINK. Columbus needs, like, 10 more guys like this one.

• Not easy to win late games out west. EST teams only getting wins around 20% of the time (normal away team success rate is 37%) so a Draw is a positive result. It just feels like the Crew should be beating this team anytime of the day.

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