Sunday, April 23, 2017

Rd 8: Injuries = Loss

Columbus traveled to Red Bull Arena for their eighth game of the season. Not only was it a loss, it was one that may impact team results for the next few games because of injuries. A double-whammy, if you will.

Artur, who had been performing pretty well in the midfield, appears to have broken wrist/arm not long after kickoff. The injury completely threw Crew SC off their game. His sub, Mohammed Abu, came in in support but it took him a good chunk of the game to get comfortable. Note here on Abu: Fans immediately took to disliking him. It's like fans have to have at least one player they do not like.

NY came in with the high press type of approach that gives Gregg Berhalter's team fits, so it's difficult to tell if it was the Artur injury or the pressure and intensity of NY that got Columbus on the ropes.

After getting a goal early, NY doubled their lead off a miserable challenge in the box by Alex Crognale. Adding insult to injury (literally), Crognale injured himself trying to make the play. I have a feeling that his ego was also damaged on the play. This is what you get with inexperienced college players. They tend to have strengths that they focus on, but eventually, the truth of their ability comes out. This was one such play.

The other college player to mention alongside Crognale is Niko Hansen, who had a horrid game. Both players have worked for their time in the line up off of good play but they were going up against a good opponent who have some sort of pre-game planning (you'd be surprised at how many do not). Players who are not well rounded (ie. college players) get completely exposed.

It's important to note that this is where having a place to put players like Hansen and Crognale come into play. An affiliate isn't the right place. Having a "B" team or "II" is better. In a perfect world, there would be free movement between divisions and leagues in the US without all the roster restrictions and we could get a lot more out of players like these guys. Sadly, we might have just seen the best we will ever see out of these guys after such a high the previous weekend.

Regardless. Columbus is still in okay shape, as far as their record goes. It's just a loss. That said. The damage done here might be in losing Artur for a bit. Abu, even if he were a great player, will need an adjustment period.

Crew have the next three at home, however. It'll give them time so sort the loss of Artur and figure out if Ethan Finlay is worth starting again.

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