Sunday, October 20, 2013

Crew Rd 33, Nothing to Lose (or Gain)

In somewhat symbolically mix-matched uniforms the Columbus Crew go for broke away in New England and lose 3:2.

I was out of town visiting family in Virginia this week. Both to see them and to take in the beautiful scenery my home state has to offer. My perspective is a little different for this one.

The first time I watched this game I was in Harrisonburg, VA with my brother and his family. While spending the afternoon there my niece made me what's in the picture on the left (my favorite thing of the 2013 Crew season).

Going through it the second time was about the same as the first. Right off the bat the Crew played exactly the same as they have so many times this year. Overly active and looking for a lucky bounce or through ball to get the up in the opening 10-20 minutes.

High pressure, chasing the ball, looking for through ball opportunities. It was all very familiar. What's also familiar is when they don't get one early they struggle later on in the match.

Around the 30th minute, when the game was being controlled by NE, Ethan Finlay had a bad touch and subsequently made bad challenge after a string of bad challenges by a desperate Crew side.

This opened up a good opportunity on the corner of the Crew's 18 yard box. New England took advantage and scored.

Brian Bliss pulled Ethan Finlay for the Crew's only big attacking target in Aaron Schoenfeld.

After wrestling control of the match from the Revs in the first 10 minutes of the second half the Crew got a few good bounces. One off Wil Trapp that fell to Schoenfeld who pushed it over to Dominic Oduro who put it away to tie it up 1:1.

This really started off some craziness. Shortly after the Revs started pressing again and earned a penalty off some chippy play in the box. Tony Tchani was sloppy and hacked a Revs player down. Chris Tierney finished off the penalty.

The Crew responded as Aaron Schoenfeld gathered nicely just inside the box and finished on the turn with his left foot in the upper corner on of the net.

Seemingly surprised, the Revs responded quickly and Diego Fagundez found another goal for the Revs off a cross from Andy Dorman.

NE coach Jay Heaps would go ahead and make a couple of defensive subs in Kevin Alston and Stephen McCarthy to put away the game. It could be argued he should have done this earlier but, regardless. This ended the match in his favor.

• I've seen Aaron Schoenfeld play a lot of the past couple years. Mostly in reserve matches. I've seen him play pretty well but never have I seen him hold up and turn for a goal like he did in this game. Really great and happy for him and his family.

• The turf at Gillette will forever bother me. My theory is that the the Football God's, both types of the game, have forsaken their tenents. Did you know the Patriots haven't won a Super Bowl since switching? All the money that team pulls in and they can't play on a natural surface? THE FOOTBALL GODS DOTH SMITE YOU.

• The Crew were 'mathematically eliminated' from playoff contention after this game. It didn't matter if they won or lost, it turned out.

• The Crew have been statistically eliminated for some time. They should have approached the last couple months of the season with this in mind. Hanging on to hope left this team with Tyson Wahl at CB and Chad Barson at RB. It also kept Tony Tchani in the starting lineup and Dominic Oduro playing in a right mid spot where opposing teams seemed to find goals. Challenges for the Crew await over the next few months.

• Despite being subbed off, Agustin Viana was awarded the Man of the Match star from This is something I follow, so should you. It's objective and that is very, very rare in MLS.

• Did I mention I was in God's country this weekend? Here's what that looks like from my folks front porch:

• Recharged and happy to be back in Columbus. Ready to take on the last game of the year and a fun off season!

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