Sunday, July 5, 2009

7/5/09: Crew Struggle Against Depleted DC. Ratings and Thoughts

My new freehand banner that I displayed last night. Figured I would show a pic of it for those that missed it since Sam's pics are not up yet

Well, that was a performance that the Crew will be looking to forget. I'm actually happy with the draw because we were totally outplayed at home and last night looked like the night where our unbeaten home streak would come to an end. DC United peppered our goal with 22 shots compared to our 9, and the Crew only allowed one goal despite a Hesmer performance that he won't likely put on his resume. If I was the Crew, I would just shake it off and focus on the next big game in Chicago.

Hesmer- 6. Did enough to secure the tie. Was shaky at times and is probably just getting back into the groove of starting. You don't sit out for nearly two months and come back in and dominate. I won't be quick to judge, especially when he didn't cost us the game as there was nothing he could do on the Gomez goal. That was actually a long line of about 5 defensive mistakes.

Padula- 6.5. Didn't make any mistakes on defense. I think though that one of the reasons Padula has been such a success is his offensive distribution. Getting his head up, finding Carroll, having Carroll find GBS, and then GBS finding the runners. I think part of the reason for the bad display was that the Crew didn't play like this and that starts with Padula and Hejduk usually.

Iro- 5. Decent for being out for so long. Can't really blame his form on anything other than the lack of a reserve league. It's baffling how MLS expects to have complete rosters, when half of the roster has no real competition most of the year. Heck, college players get more competition then MLS reserve players. The more I think about that, the more I think it's no wonder the Crew and 80% percent of MLS reserves lost to USL-1 teams last week in the Open Cup. I think I was a little too harsh after that loss. If the reserves are getting games it's a different story. Kind of hard to practice all the time and expect to be brillant in the one game you play all year.

Also, I would rate Pontius as probably the best rookie this year, definitely better than Zakauni. Think he might of had a case for a PK if advantage wasn't called the one time Pontius caught Iro out and got barreled over.

Brunner- 6.5. Held down the fort in the back with Marshall off in the Gold Cup. Didn't make any glaring mistakes, although he was beaten by Wallace a few times. As a result, Brunner it seems gave DC United strikers some more space to splay shots late in the game at Hesmer. Still, in my opinion, has been the biggest revelation and positive of this year.

Hejduk- 6.5. Ran his behind off and got into the attack well. But, might have gotten into the attack a little too much. Also, per usual, his side of the field was where most of the activity was, along with the short passing. Unfornately the Crew stayed too compact at times on the right side(had some great passing in the first half), but needed to be more spread out on the wing because it was very easy for two DC United players to cover 3 or 4 Crew players in a 10-15 yard area.

Carroll- 6.25. The partnership with O'Rourke in the middle of the field isn't working out the greatest I think. But, I get that out of necessity and a lack of faith in a couple of his other options that Warzycha may feel like he has no other choice. Also, either him or O'Rourke fell down shambolically easy in the box on the Gomez goal. I think the Crew would have been better off with O'Rourke back in central defense. And, either giving Oughton or Burns a start with Carroll in the middle. If one partnership isn't working out the greatest(especially since both O'Rourke and Carroll are both defensive minded, and not the most attacking spirits in the game) then if I was Warzycha I would try something else. Hell, Oughton scored a bike on Tuesday and the Kiwi banner was flying.

Anyways, Carroll gets the extra ".25" because I heard a "Brian! Carroll!" chant for the first time in I think ever. So, he must have been doing something amazing, I just must have been focused on my beer.

O'Rourke- 6.5. Gattuso stateside had a pretty decent game in my opinion. But, nowhere near the previous couple performances where he was, if not the best, nearly the best player on the field. It's okay though, since everyone was sort of off their game last night.

Gaven- 6. Probably would be better in the middle of the field as when O'Rourke and Carroll are there together we have no one who can get forward and make those offensive passes, and be offensive in central midfield. I faintly remember him having some play that was pretty spectacular in the game as I said "good work Eddie" but my memory is a little hazey in parts last night. :-) Anyways, with no Moffat and with a depleted midfield, I think maybe Warzycha might just want to stick Gaven in central mid, he played well there when it was him, Rogers, and Ekpo on the field. I don't know why Warzycha gave up on that.

Ekpo- 7. As always Ekpo had his usual couple of brain farts in the game. But, with him you either get him doing something that makes you go "what the heck?" or something that makes you say "woooh". His run in the second half that had DC United scrambling back was the main reason for the Moreno goal. Ekpo sent the ball to Lenhart, Lenhart got the flick, and Moreno secured the unbeaten home streak.

Guillermo- 6.5. "As Guillermo goes, so does the team." That's not an established saying, but it should be. GBS had some good passes and didn't do anything horrible, but nothing spectacular either. Could have used some more help behind him in midfield. His crosses were not up to their usual standard.

Anyways, GBS is allowed to have his one down game of the year. Everyone else has many more.

Moreno- 7.25. Got his goal finally to shut up some of the inquistioners. Nice finish and worked his ass off per usual. Could use a different goal celebration nevertheless instead of what I'm going to fashion as the "bored messiah"- which consists of putting your hands up like jesus with a look of indifference(or maybe it's other worldliness and knowing) and running towards the corner flag.

Case in point:

Anyways, he gets the extra .25 in my book for the goal and always, no matter what, going over to the crowd. Great that he always does that. The rest of the Crew barring(Zayner, Moreno, and Hesmer) act as if they will get Swine Flu if they give a couple of high five's. Shouldn't complain though about that since a lot of teams don't even acknowledge their section after the game like Toronto.

Lenhart- 6.75. Good performance, does well to get his head on the end of balls. Effective when the Crew are playing chip and pray, which the Crew did a lot of last night. Good energy and I like how he always challenges defenders, running after them on defense as well, being that first line of defense.

Burns- 6.5. Another performance that Burns can build on. Burns is showing that he is one of the guys off the bench that Warzycha can start to rely on for a solid performance. His pass to Schelotto in the second half(with a little less mustard) could have been the game winning assist in a game that the Crew didn't deserve to win.

PLAYER OF THE NIGHT: Robbie Rogers with 1 goal and 2 assists in USA's 4-0 win against Grenada. Where the heck is that when he plays for us? Anyways, good stuff Robbie. Might just be a showing that he is starting to find his form this season as he probably was our MOTM last week against New York.

NORDECKE: 7.5- Some new banners up. Liked how not an inch of space in front, in back, or to the side of the Nordecke was not left bare by banners. Also, liked how a couple of banners were tied up above the entrance underneath, hanging in the air. The chanting was better. "Columbus is the greatest" is starting to catch on, especially the la-lah part. If anything is tripping us up is the fact that I do two rounds of the la-lah's when Drew starts with the beginning again. No big deal. And, "will be coming" got going a couple of times. I think both are easy and will be in the repetiore by the end of July. Need to get "Horto- So who are we" going, I didn't really give it much of an effort though last night. I feel that the trip to Chicago will be a good chance for the hardcore to get these chants down. I feel that the best day chant wise this year, might of been Toronto away, couldn't hear us on the television too good. But, we chanted the whole damn game and chanted some creative things well including "Columbus is the greatest." My goal for next week is to get our block chanting all three: "Columbus is the greatest", "Will be coming", and "Horto" loud on the road game. It will be much easier to coordinate that group as I almost feel on road trips that HSH, LTA, and CSU become one group. Plus, it's much less people and most of the people that go are more with it.

Glad we brought the two sticks as well. With the flags it was nice at the beginning. I didn't recollect the two sticks and told Thoma he could if he wants. Don't think he did either. If you took one home with you, if you want, just bring it to the games with you. I couldn't carry all my banners plus the two sticks at the end of the game. Left my banners in the front office, hoping there still there so I can pick them up on Monday as I want to take some of them with me to Chicago.

Also, the large banner after the goal, I think was held better. Seemed like I did it in an area where more people knew what was going on.

And, the chanting overall was better then the last few games.

Overall, a much better effort then the last two home games. I would have given the last game like a 5. As everything above was pretty much missing.


  1. I will be making the trip with La Turbina to chicago, can't wait. And i think it may be a good idea if we do the new chants before the game like on the bus and the tailgate so when we get in the stadium everybody knows what they are doing and won't be like "wtf"

  2. I can tell you that the nordecke has been weak compared to last year! They have securtiy treating us like children and taking away all of the fun that it used to be. Myself and other were kicked out for a smoke bomb in the second half when i hade no clue that we could not have them becasue i see them every game. They got the cops to escort us out and they were incredibly rude and did not care to hear our side of the story. We are all season ticket holders and all i can say as of now is fuck this and i will not be back next year. Id rather watch all the games at home than put up with that shit! I feel certian that if they keep this up that the nordecke will be a failure and the atmosphere that we all love will go away.

  3. The Nordecke has sounded GREAT the last two games - it really sounds like you've gotten some organization put together. We can actually hear the section leaders starting/leading chants from where I sit on the other side of the stadium, and while some of the newest ones are still works in progress, I was definitely able to make out bits and parts this week. Yay!