Sunday, July 13, 2014

Lack of Depth, Quality, Preparation Sink Crew in NY

Standings said these teams were even though the same number of games but by the time it was over the gap couldn't have been greater.

With the loss the Crew drop to 15th on the overall MLS table and 7th in the East (on PPG). Even with 4 goals put past Steve Clark, the team is still 6th best in Goals against while slipping to 16th in Goals For.

Looking at near results things get pretty dire for the team. Over the last 10 matches the Crew are only averaging 1.00 GF while conseding 1.40 GA (-0.40 GD) and only earning 0.80 PPG (or last on the overall true table).

The Crew are notably missing 4 of 11 regular starters for a multitude of reasons, here is a list:

Hector Jimenez, Knee Injury (out 6-8 weeks)
Josh Williams, Groin (indefinite)
Giancarlo Gonzalez, World Cup (returning soon)
Waylon Francis, World Cup (returning soon)

In the early moments of the match Jairo Arrieta pulled up with a hamstring problem that will probably sideline him for a number of weeks. The Crew will also be missing Bernardo Anor for a couple matches due to card accumulation and a straight red received late last match.

With a short handed roster Gregg Berhalter thrust Adam Bedell into the line up where he was able to score. He held his own in a lone forward role most of the match. Ethan Finlay had another standout first half assisting on Bedell's goal. Late in the 2nd half we also saw Aaron Schoenfeld enter the match for the first time this year. Schoenfeld is on pace to break the USL Pro scoring record but looked a bit out of place here (no fault of his own).

The Crew tried to match NY by pressing high up the pitch and working quick counters but they ended up getting burnt pretty badly due to superior talent on the other side of the ball - therefore the approach to the match, especially considering the patchwork lineup, should be called into question.

Another questionable and potentially risky decision was for Berhalter to pull team captain and regular USMNT player Michael Parkhurst out midway though the second half. Parkhurst was clearly frustrated as he flipped his armband towards Wil Trapp (missing him and hitting the ground) as he drifted off to the bench, nearly ignoring the head coach before thinking better of it.

Theirry Henry's three assists and a goal were not the only difference in this one. The Crew have fires all over the roster that need put out or this season will be one to forget.

Crew take on a full strength Sporting KC this Wednesday.

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