Sunday, October 27, 2013

Predictions: Crew (H) v Revs

New England is in Columbus today to try and extend their season into the MLS Cup Playoffs. Whistle blows at 4:00 PM EST.

CLB: Reports - Gruenebaum likely getting start over Lampson
CLB: Josh Williams might play as well.
CLB: Crew have played well at home as of late after bad start
NER: A win extends season
NER: Have Nguyen back after suspension
NER: 8 pts in last 6 way, -2 GD isn't bad


I do believe this is the first time the away side has been favored at Crew Stadium this year. Revs getting 6/4 odds. Crew 9/5 (draw 23/10)

Just picking the home team is right most of the time, especially in MLS this year.

No write up from the guys at this week. The 'reader's predictions' has the Crew at 60% picked. We'll have to go with that.

Managing Editor Patrick Guldan thinks this going to be a tight 1-1 draw. "The game likely won't be as open as the stakes are lower and will be played on grass."

Man in Japan Adam Jardy thinks the Revs are the team to beat today. Playoffs vs Pride basically. "Whether or not [pride] will be enough to end a disappointing season on a high note remains to be seen." Go pick up a Dispatch anywhere around town. Jardy also has a good piece on three player contracts up in the air.

Appears Graham Ruthven has sort of checked up like the folks at He likes the Revs 2:1 but notes that the Crew are out of "Western Conference" playoff hunt.

Ball don't lie.

Looks like the betting masses like a 0-1 Away win. "Your Votes" is going Revs as well with 42% (Crew 25%). Pretty tight though.

Three of these folks going Revs, one Crew. Last two like the draw. So, mixed feelings on this one here. Bourbon hater ("a children's drink") Matt Doyle is still the lead dog over there with a 49% hit rate. Nick Rosano not far behind at 38%.

"Too many players there playing for 2014 and for their jobs not to get it done." - Drew Epperley. I'll have more on this right below in the "My Thoughts" section.


Last games can often be frustrating affairs when your team isn't going any further. This year is no different.

Also, last games can be telling affairs though and most of the things I see in regards to this match are frustrating. Here is a list:

1. Starting Andy Gruenebaum. Andy should have gotten his job back as soon as he was able. If he didn't want it then send him home for the rest of the year. Instead, we have this horseshit situation where the Crew are trotting him out for what is likely his last game. He hasn't played in months. Lampson has been lights out at home, an amazing 5 shutouts in 7.

2. "Fighting for Jobs". If one game is going to make a break a player in this sport than the Crew have some serious problems. We hear this sort of sports jargon a lot. In the N.F.L. it sort of makes some since as they play so few games and the likelihood of getting maimed is high. It has no place in soccer. The fact that WV Hooligan mentions it is disappointing but I know a lot of decision makers in MLS do this. Grr.

3. Josh Williams. Josh is another one getting trotted out today. His doesn't quite feel like Gruenebaums in that it is his last game but it does feel a little fishy. There is a high degree of difficulty to this game today. I'm sure Josh is chomping at the bit to face this type of situation but there is a high percentage chance that the Crew lose this one, therefore damaging his leverage at the table to renegotiate contract. And if he makes a mistake on a goal than I have to hear a bunch of people I respect telling me that he should be cut based on what they saw last. Williams is an MLS starter, he still has upside and his soft skills are off the charts.

4. Nobody in place to make personnel decisions. Well, Mark McCullers is there but after the last three off-seasons he has proven to be incompetent at this part of his job. Last season, in particular, was terrible. Notably: They cut Miranda and Mirosevic just decided he wasn't coming back (after the Crew spent loads of time saying otherwise). Carlos Mendes was another one who just sort of drifted off to the NY Cosmos (where he has played very well). In the case of both these players the Crew overspent to replace them.

5. Out of race since Toronto. The Crew have been out of this season since the loss up in Toronto. Change should have been made then and the process of building for 2014 should have started. This impotent chase for the playoffs over the last couple months only shortened the window to prepare for next year. Pre-season starts mid-January and the Crew are going to be, again, short on warm bodies. I remember Eddie Gaven saying last year that he felt they were missing players in the preseason. I expect it again this year.

16 OUT OF 19

This team has fallen down the table each year since 2008. Losing only a little bit at first but now is in complete terminal velocity free fall and I've seen nothing in the way of change to keep me from thinking that the bottom of the table the only way of stopping the Crew from getting worse.

Alright, that's what I've got for now. If I can't unleash for the last game then when can I? It's a very grumpy post but I lean heavily on the side of performance (over just enjoying a day at the stadium). With that I get all worked up when a team tells me it's sunny when it's raining outside.

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