Monday, March 29, 2010

3/29/2010: A Crew Win To Start The Season Is A Step Above Last Year, But The Crew Should Have Put TFC Away Much Sooner

Crew fans had a good ammount to celebrate on Saturday, but were they blown away? (Pic by Sam Fahmi, click here for more pictures of his at the Massive Report)

The Columbus Crew got the 2-0 victory on Saturday and it was a dominating performance for the most part for Columbus as TFC had their moments, but not many moments of the dangerous variety. However, the Crew kept TFC too close for too long in this one for my blood pressure. As the Crew had one golden opportunity after another to close this one up early in the second half. But, they time after time kept picking the wrong or half decent, last option instead of the best, last option in the attack. Yet I knew our Crew were still going to win, as despite all of this TFC looked 20 times more uninspiring in their attack. But, I still had the thought lingering in the back of my head of the Crew giving up the three points on another defensive mistake for another 1-1 draw in the opener. As I was waiting for one of our defenders to pull a Gino ala 2009 opener.

However, the defense held tough and in regards to the combining within the attack hopefully it is just a bit of rust and the Crew attack will be more in sync as the season goes on. Although with a couple more missed opportunities, I think Renteria and Ekpo may find themselves in some bigger roles this year compared to the last one (as the attack seems a bit too predictable at times with them on the bench). I thought Lenhart battled well but the midfield attack seemed a little disjointed in combination with the forwards, yet enough to get by on a weaker TFC side. Still the scoresheet surprised me a bit because I did not expect it to read "goal by Andy Iro" against a rebuilt on-the-fly TFC side and I didn't expect our attack to need 86 minutes and an open net to get on the scoresheet against in shambles Toronto. I'm sure I'm not alone as many Nordeckians probably didn't think we would rely on Iro (yet good on him, he's showing improvement) and the follies of Garcia and Frei to win this one. But, a win is a win. And, heck I'll always take a "W" anyway that the Crew can get one.

And, don't get me wrong I'm happy with the win, it's a step in the right direction in comparison to our dreadful 2009 start. But, I just wasn't blown away by our attack and it just all seemed to me that the Crew knew they were going to win 2-0 and TFC knew it was going to end up that way eventually, so the Crew didn't push the issue by focusing on their finishing and TFC bunkered until late in the game.

Further, the Crew should have had this Crewsmas present rapped with a bow on it at 3-0 by the 50th minute as two point blank opportunities by Gaven and Moffat were wasted in the opening minutes of the second half. Then later on in the half, Rogers had many chances to make something happen down the right side just to dribble into 4 or 5 TFC defenders.

I don't think that TFC was particularly good at all, despite what the Toronto Sun writes. In fact, there a shambolic side when you can miss so many opportunities and still waltz away with a 2-0 victory. I just think the Crew were capable to put that one away much sooner. I think you can mainly though chalk it up to opening day jitters and if we can still come away 2-0 (we rarely won by more than a goal over anyone during 2008) then overall you can take that as a positive sign of things to come in 2010.


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