Sunday, September 22, 2013

Crew Rd 30, Take Advantage - Win

The Columbus Crew scored a goal then went up a man early in this one. Come away with a three goal win.

Very energetic open to this game as both sides seemed impatient. This opened up acres for the Crew on the wings, particularly on the right side.

By only the 11th minute Dominic Oduro found himself some space ripped one past Chicago's GK Sean Johnson. Good one touch from Federico Higuain and Jairo Arrieta on working the ball over to him.

A little over 10 minutes later Arrieta (again finding space) was chopped down by Bakary Soumare with clear path to the goal. It earned him a straight red.

While the rest of the half saw both teams trying to figure out how to play a man up and a man down there was a couple non-calls in the box that went against Chicago.

One was Tony Tchani pulling down Jeff Larentowicz and another was an odd moment were a 2nd ball was on the pitch, the ref went over to get it but let play go on while a Fire player was knocked down from behind on his way to goal.

With some time to put together a plan both teams contributed to turning this game back into something a little more organized. But Chicago was still giving up way too much space for both Arrieta and Oduro's speed.

In the 70th minute Arrieta got behind the back line and forced a play from GK Johnson where promptly maded contact with the player. Higuain walked up and put away the penalty.

A few minutes later Tony Tchani placed a beautiful ball to Bernardo Anor and put the home side up 3-0.

The Crew have played a few games like this one this year were they go up early on ejection. At home fans have seen it with Portland and Seattle. In both cases the Crew looked a little lost for whatever reason.

Yesterday was a little different in that they kept the intensity up. Chicago had their chances that they probably shouldn't have though. They caught the woodwork twice and got off a couple long distance efforts (they ended up getting more shots off than the Crew).

I think Chicago will regret this one badly but it's hard not to feel for them a little because of the wildly inconsistent (and sometimes down right bizarre) officiating.

Whenever I see a game with a bad official I always look for the longtime MLS guys on the team getting shafted. Last night it was Mike Magee. His facial expressions and body language said it all.

Sorry Mike.

Tough to take much out of this game outside the fact that the Crew are winning at home again. Bakary Soumare and some questionable officiating threw a wet blanket on this one.

Some Crew observations:
• Bliss seems to have repaired some of the Robert Warzycha inflicted emotional damage to Chad Marshall. Ever since Bliss praised him a few weeks ago (going as far as saying he is National Team quality) Marshall is another player.

• Speaking of Warzychas... Konrad Warzycha was not in the 18 for the 2nd round in a row. Since week 8 Konrad has only missed 3 total gameday 18s. The only other one was his father's last game (rd 26 vs Seattle).

• Speas appearance was his first in about a month. Only his 2nd in last 10 games. Bliss said he has been 'mired in a little bit of mediocrity' in a recent interview with the Columbus Dispatch, citing his recent wedding as a possible cause.

• These Bliss comments don't do anything to shake his jock persona. He needs to get away from a former player that is a coach and work towards being a Manager. This is something better teams look for.

• Crew still leading MLS in penalties taken with 9. LA is 2nd with 8 then everybody else is way down the list. I find this strange but very similar to 2011.

• Just like in 2011, Red Cards and penalties are hiding some problems that need addressed.

• Bernardo Anor had a quiet but effective game.

• listed Tony Tchani as man of the match. He's another one that is thriving under new leadership.

• Crew remain in 8th place after this win. Next week they travel to Dallas to play an out of conference game.

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