Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Crew Lose at Home, Red Flags

Last weekend's game against previously last-place Portland Timbers proved to be more than just a loss. What we witnessed was a clear truth: Caleb Porter is not Greg Berhalter. And this team is starting to look a little frustrated.

The rare home loss for Columbus didn't do too much damage on the overall table as they only dropped one spot to 9th. It's pretty clear that this position is due to a home-heavy early schedule (5 of 8) at this point. Sorting the table by most home games shows us simply that teams with the most home games are higher up on the table.

2.57LA Galaxy7601137618
2.44Los Angeles FC97112571822
2.29Seattle Sounders FC7511159616
2.17Toronto FC64111811713
2.17Houston Dynamo6411138513
2.00FC Dallas8512149516
1.75DC United8422129314
1.63Philadelphia Union8413129313
1.63Columbus Crew841388013
1.43Minnesota United73131715210
1.38Orlando City83231213-111
1.38Montreal Impact8323814-611
1.29Chicago Fire7232121119
1.29Sporting Kansas City7232151149
1.25Real Salt Lake83141014-410
1.14New York City FC7151911-28
1.00FC Cincinnati8224813-58
0.88New England Rev.8215612-67
0.86San Jose Earthquakes72051017-76
0.83Atlanta United612358-35
0.71New York Red Bulls712489-15
0.63Vancouver Whitecaps8125611-55
0.57Portland Timbers7115918-94
0.25Colorado Rapids80261223-112


To start, Porter is a very stoic person that has a crappy "I'm disappointed in you" face or worse "just don't talk to me" demeanor. Leadership, coaching takes many types, but what comes off from him is, well, off-putting. It's been this way since he was in Portland. I don't think players particularly respond positively to it when the team is winning, so when it's not working things go in the toilet. Example here is when Robinho was subbed off for Justin Meram. Robinho just went straight to the bench and threw a fit. Porter just stood there, arms folded (a behavior that says stay away, which he does all the time). It's a small moment, but it's hard for guys with Porter's non-communicative style to rein in stuff like this. It'll fester.

A growing problem by the minute. 8 goals in 8 games and over half coming from central defenders and flukes. Goals come in all shapes and sizes, but Columbus is getting zero from open play. Teams seem to know what's coming as well. Prevent crossing opportunities and you beat the Crew.

Hard to say where the support is. The excuse could be that the new ownership group just needs to find their footing, but it's likely more a hangover from the intensity of last year combined with Blue Jackets fever. On a side note - we haven't heard much, if anything, about new stadium plans. Momentum has come to a crashing halt.

Crew are back at it again tonight. DC. Keeping an eye on player body language.

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