Monday, May 28, 2012


In order to have great players you have to allow players to be great.

Don't look now but the Columbus Crew now have two more wins in there first 12 games than last year and have a couple more goals in that same period.

Just about everyone expected this busy past week of three games in eight days to go poorly. Two games on the west coast against top of the table teams and then a game at home against a solid, well coached rival.

Draw, Win, Win. Five goals for, 2 against and Eddie Gaven still hasn't stopped running.

Chicago let a confident Crew work the ball around at will. It didn't take long for Eddie Gaven to slot one near post (9') and it was a little surprising that Columbus didn't have a couple more in the 10 minutes after.

Justice was served in the 44' though, Gaven found Emilio Renteria posted up in the 6 yard box and Emilio did what he has been trained to to since birth.

Turn. Shoot. Score.

It took a bit but the Fire finally started to get some sustained pressure while Columbus fell back and only worked off counters. It could have been a case of Chicago playing a bit of possum in the 1st half with the intent of conserving energy. A tactic that nearly paid off as the addition of Dominique Oduro (Helltown Favorite) half time added to the Fire attack.

The pressure and tactics the Fire played yielded a goal in the 72 minute and it cost the Crew. Both Shaun Francis and Carlos Mendes of the Crew back line had to be subbed because of exhaustion and poor play. Mendes looked to have a limp but it was easy to see that he was spent in the first half.

The last 20 minutes was a little hard to watch. It was a hot evening and you could see players on the Crew side walking around about ready to collapse. This effort paid off though. The Crew held out and head into the league break heads up high.

• The exclusion of THREE GOALS IN THREE GAMES Justin Meram was/is a controversial one. Both Bernardo Anor and Kevan George (1st MLS app) got the call over him (I say George because Tony Tchani could have been dropped back to CDM and Meram inserted on right). There are a couple ways to look at this Meram situation.

Warzycha mentioned in the post game that the plan was to bring Justin on in the 2nd but the two backline subs (Francis and Mendes) prevented it which is essentially saying Frank Klopas coached Meram out of this game, if anything. Maybe Klopas watched Rocky last week or something... taking his licks in the first half then came out swinging with jabs to the Crew gut. Observant Crew fans will notice that it was mostly Crew players crumpling to the ground after the game.

THE MERAM INCIDENT, Everything else View
It would have meant so much to have Meram out there pushing for his 4th goal in 4. I can't find were any Crew player in history has ever done that. The Crew need fans to show up, they need stories. Supporters want heroes.

Meram's 3 goals in 3 is a story for the Crew. 4 in 4 would be a story on the front page of the MLS website and probably even make ESPN rounds as a topic. All the major MLS media guys would be talking about it. It would be such a breath of fresh air for this team to hear positive things like that.

If there is anything positive to come out of this as far as Warzycha is concerned is that he didn't force Meram in the game. He didn't try and cover up one bad decision with another.

• It's important to remember that Meram and Renteria are alive with goals again now that Eddie Gaven is free to roam with Milovan Mirosevic and Olman Vargas out.

• Bernardo Anor maintains his spot as winningest player per start on the team and his sample size continues to increase. The guy is a talisman. He has started in 3 of the 5 wins. He has some easily noticeable faults but yesterday he never got tired, won balls, disrupted play and was making good decisions, late.

• Anor also carries the game well as does Josh Williams. What I mean by that is this: Ethan Finlay looks like he is trying to climb Mount Everest when he is out there.

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