Sunday, May 20, 2012

Crew Rd. 10: Nation Judging Draw (SJE)

They say... one can judge the quality of nation, past or present, by how they treat their prisoners. Just like one can judge the quality of football league by late game goals. Or something like that.

Unusual feelings for both teams after the final whistle blew on this one. San Jose ridiculously dominated the game yet Columbus had the 3 points in the bag right up till the dying embers (thank you FIFA 12 Martin Tyler).

San Jose worked the ball around in the Crew third with remarkable ease in the first half. They wound up with 17 shots in the first stanza. Crew GK Andy Gruenebaum was outstanding. He had a PK save in there as well. But why so many shots in one half? There are only a couple MLS teams that average 17 in an entire game.

For any Crew fan or Supporter the 1st half was nightmarish. Simon Dawkins (London born, on loan from Tottenham) worked his way past Milovan Mirosevic and Danny O'Rourke like hot knife through butter. I'm not just saying that because he is (Edgware, North) London born and on loan from Tottenham, either. He really did make it look easy. It's worth mentioning again... Gruenebaum was outstanding.

Did I mention that Justin Meram dropped one in right before half in the 2nd minute of stoppage? It was a beautiful shot that I'll go ahead and nominate as Crew goal of the year so far (along side of the 20 yd header Miranda had last week).

The touch and control Meram showed on the goal was outstanding. Next level outstanding, to be bluntly honest. More on that later in this post.

Mirosevic was subbed out and Cole Grossman was subbed in. Cole has been with the Crew for some time and has taken the more workman like path to playing with the Senior Team. Turns out that work has paid off. Grossman's positioning was much better than Mirosevic. Not saying that Cole is a better player, but he is better at playing what the Crew are doing.

With Cole's presence the 2nd half turned the game into something more resembling a pro team for the Crew. Whether for injury to Mirosevic or not, this sub was important. Had the game gone on like in the 1st half it would have been a 3-1 or 4-1 affair.

Ultimately, it was a 1-1 affair. Heart-breakingly for the Crew the Earthquakes pulled even in the NINETIETH MINUTE.

• I was in Northern Virginia for the game celebrating a nephew's first birthday. The MLS Live feed had the San Jose play callers and what not. It was interesting to hear a Crew game from another perspective. I don't get that very often as the Crew are never on Nationally. Let me say this... SJ goal scorer is a jerk character. Bizarre interview after the game where he let all the viewers know how large his ego is.

Alex Alan Gordon's Ego, San Jose and Co. went after Eric Gehrig. I've seen this over the past few weeks. Teams have pegged him as a weak link in the Crew back line. Fact remains thus: Only 2 goals against in last three when Gehrig and Josh Williams are starting at CB. Excellent.

• The fact that other teams are now attacking Gehrig and not Williams is a testament to how respected Josh Williams is already.

• Computers and Cyberdyne Systems Model 101's don't lie. Meram's 2 goals in two games has been FORETOLD! I wrote about it HERE back in March.

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