Monday, May 27, 2013

Crew Rd 12: Draw at NYRB

After leading twice, Columbus will feel a bit disappointed not to get all three points out of this messy affair.

Eddie Gaven came off the first whistle looking like the Eddie Gaven fans are more accustom too. Even after assisting on Dominic Oduro's 2nd minute goal Gaven was going after loose balls, finding space to receive passes, drawing defenders out. His play lifted the Crew as they matched NY, for the most part, in quality of play during the half.

Oduro was injured on the goal he scored and was replaced (curiously) by Aaron Schoenfeld.

In the 31st minute Tim Cahill played a nice longish ball to Thierry Henry who, from the 18 yard box, blooped it over an off his line Andy Gruenebaum.

Some nervy type moments after that goal as Gruenebaum sometimes seems to lose confidence and composure after goals. Fortunately, NY was not able to get any real chances off before the half ended.

Sensing that the Crew were going to play cautiously, the Red Bulls came out aggressive and impatient. Every pass they made was seemingly one searching for a quick goal. Columbus was up for it though, and held NY to just three total shots from the 45th minute to the 82nd.

In the 74th minute there was some controversy as Justin Meram was pushed in the back after mishitting a chance on goal in the box. The ref called the foul and Federico Higuain finished off the penalty shot putting the Crew up 2:1.

Things changed from there. They NY onslaught was on and it put the Crew against the wall a bit. In all the chaos towards the end the Red Bulls' Jonny Steele found Olave for a tying goal.

• Injured Oduro's 8th minute sub; Aaron Schoenfeld, was subbed off for Ben Speas in the 62nd minute. Sub for sub isn't something that happens too often. Not clear of Schoenfeld was tired or just not playing well.

• Speas came on and Meram appeared to move up top in a more attacking roll.

• Meram found the right spots and Gaven was finding him well, just he was way off on his shots. He is rusty but given more time he will find the goal.

• Foul in the Box: The problem with the call is that it was after Meram had already flubbed the shot. It was a sloppy play that permeates MLS play. They are not consistently called in this league because of the talent levels in defending.

• NY's decision to start Dax McCarty was a mistake. Good player but results have been poor with him playing. Doesn't fit.

• No updates on Dominic Oduro's injury, didn't look serious. Interestingly, Oduro has left the game immediately after scoring twice this year due to injury.

• I don't mind the line up decisions for this game. It felt more like a Crew team to have players like Eric Gehrig, Kevan George and Justin Meram out there. I don't think results would be much different were it them or the regular starters. It's club style of play and coaching that puts them mid-table.

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