Monday, March 7, 2016

Crew SC Drop Opener

Same teams, same game, same result. Caleb Porter's Portland side beat Columbus in much the same manner as the MLS Cup final a few months ago.

High up on the list of things was to keep Ethan Finlay out of dangerous areas, both out wide to whip crosses into Kei Kamara and when he speeds past defenders looking for a through ball and an open look on goal.

Opta has Columbus again struggling to connect crosses into the box. This week it was 2 of 32. In the MLS Cup Final it was 3 of 27. Another statistical tid-bit... Possession was exactly the same as the final. 61% Crew, 39% Timbers.

Going forward, teams will try ad mimic what Portland did/does against Columbus so well. Not sure many can do it, however. It takes discipline (allowing Crew SC to make passes), two good central defenders, speed on the outside and smart Argentines.

We'll see how it goes. My season prediction has Columbus off to a slow as molasses start to this season via Cup Final hangover. They'll get better but first few weeks might get bumpy.

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