Sunday, August 11, 2013

Crew Rd 23, Win at Home

Federico Higuain puts on a great show as the Columbus Crew take down a NY Red Bulls team who were missing a couple of their brightest stars and head coach.

With only one defensive mid in Wil Trapp and Bernardo Anor playing in the central attacking mid role the Columbus Crew opened up play in a way normally only seen in team reserve matches this year.

It might have been a little wasteful and no goals were scored but the Crew kept NY on their back foot most of the first half.

Started out looking much like the first. It was clear that the absence of head coach Mike Petke meant the Red Bulls were going to keep it simple and defensive minded.

That changed in the 62nd minute with Jamison Olave committed a foul in the box on a restart. Federico Higuain stepped up and converted, putting the Crew up 1:0.

The game got a little more interesting from there as NY started venturing forward more. Unfortunately for them Peguy Luyindula and Ibrahim Sekagya (new signing) are no Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill.

Later, in the 76th minute, a bit of magic from Higuain as he chipped / dropped an amazingly skillful shot over the head of the NY goalkeeper.

The game sort of died from there.

• Higuain has been trying to hit a goal like his second one all season. He finally got it. Surprisingly, only his 2nd goal outside of penalties this year.

• NY was crippled without Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill, Kosuke Kimura, Lloyd Sam or coach Mike Petke in this game. All are listed as injured but really only Kimura was legit for this game. Were Columbus in NY; Henry, Cahill and Sam would have played.

• Columbus has developed somewhat of a reputation with star players. They don't make the trip. It's a unique issue that new owner Anthony Precourt will have to work out.

• The extra midfielder freed up Higuain like most team watchers expected. Bernardo Anor had a great game in the CAM role. He was giving new Red Bull Sekagya fits. Last night was one of Higuain's best games in a Crew uniform and a lot of that had to do with Anor in the middle (and Arrieta up top).

• NY's bench was very thin last night. Their subs; Akpan, Bover, Obekop have a combined 305 league minutes after last night.

• Wil Trapp had a splendid game. Not sure how else to describe it but I think splendid covers it. It's one of those performances that are fun to watch but get even better the next day when mulling over stats. 66 total passes and only four off the mark (94%). He plays within himself and all four of his misplaced passes were going forward but that one he connected on to Higuain for his goal worked.

• Crew are not making the playoffs so watching Trapp for this rest of this year will be one of the things to look forward too. Where does this leave Sanchez? Not sure. It could very well be that just the face the Crew were playing with one DM is what freed Trapp up and that Sanchez would have done just as well.

• Last night was the first game Precourt attended as owner of the Crew. He did a halftime interview on the Fox Sports broadcast where he looked like he was having fun as the owner of a pro sports team.

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