Welcome to Crewture.

Which stands for Crew and Culture, and follows Crew supporter culture. Created around the Nordecke creation and used to follow the rise of the supporters section which is now 10 years old.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

5/24/2012: Crew vs. Fire Fans, Rivalry Renewed in 2012

You can forget Toronto F.C. or D.C. United, the most realistic rival the Columbus Crew has is the Chicago Fire.

When these two clubs meet things get nasty and are always heated.

Chicago fans call Crew Stadium Fire House East, Crew call Toyota Park Nordecke West.

They've both shared one of the most prolific scorers in Brian McBride. 
161 appearances and 62 goals for Columbus
59 appearances and 18 goals for Chicago

McBride's joining of the Fire, always a Crew rival, on July 30th, 2008 will always tarnish his image in Columbus; as displayed in this banner by Crew fans at the Eastern Conference final in 2008:

The Columbus and Chicago Fire rivalry has flourished because both groups have been able to take more fans to each others stadiums.

Chicago Fire fans (being the prats they are), even have a website dedicated just to trips to Columbus, called Firehouse-east.com.

Over 400 Crew fans at Chicago's Toyota Park

Over 400 Fire fans at Crew Stadium

The Fire, along with the history, are more of a rival partly because of the freedom to bring a large away crowd in recent years.

As it's all good and well when Toronto F.C. can bring 1,000 fans to your stadium; but when your SG is only allowed to bring 100 or so back to BMO, as is the case for both Columbus and Chicago fans at Toronto's BMO Field, it's harder to get up for the rivalry.

The rivalry could even heighten more this year.

The Chicago Fire could best there record of 600 away fans, taken to MLS Cup 2000 in D.C., with this trip to Columbus on May 26th. And the Crew might best there away record to Chicago on June 27th as well, as that trip has been in the pipeline for a while too and is highlighted as the big trip in the first half of the year.

No matter how many fans are at either stadium, it's always an interesting night out for the Nordecke and Section 8; as there are always a few fights, arguments, taunts, and security carting people away for smoke bombs and other mischievous actions on both sides.

At least when a Crew fan is being carted away, other Crew fans don't pose to take a picture with their beer. :-)

5/24/2012: Crew Ratings & Thoughts Vs. Seattle

Meram (10) *Man of Match*- 3 goals in 3 games for Justin Meram makes him Crewture.com's Man of the Match.

Meram may not be miraculous for a full 90 minutes. But, the U of M product put in some hard work on that left side, including getting back in a pinch, in the first half, by playing some defense.

And even when Meram doesn't play his best, he needs to be on the field for those moments where he clicks on and attacks a ball. Meram changes a game, as he did on a swan dive header to make it 1-0 Crew at a hostile Seattle last night.

When is the last time that a Crew striker has registered 3 goals in 3 games? Even more surprising, it's been on 3 shots!
Greunebaum (10)- Won the Fox Sports Ohio Man of The Match, and had another great game, with a couple acrobatic saves..

Had 21 attempts on his goal, but only 6 shots on target, and only about three of them had any menacing quality to them.

Seattle lacked a creativeness to their attack, similar to the Crew at the beginning of the season, where no matter how many times they knock on the door it's just not happening..

So, because of this, giving Meram the nod as MOTM. Despite that, Greunebaum is really upping his quality; As Oughton said in the broadcast, "your watching a man on top of his game at the moment."
Renteria (9)- Emilio struggled to get involved early; as might be expected when playing a 1-5-4 or rather a 1-3-2-4.

But, his goal was a real peach that deflated Seattle's desire to make a game out of it. Further, Renteria's play in the second half helped give the Crew more possession up top and kill the game.

I'm hoping this can help put Renteria on a hot streak. With him and Meram finding the net, I would like to see both up top again against Chicago this weekend.

In concluding on Renteria, it's nice to see his samba dance, compared to seeing frustration on his face for once this season.
Duka (9)- Finally getting back to health, you could see in this game what Duka adds to the midfield on that right wing.. That a Anor or Tchani can't really accomplish to the same degree.

Completely burned Marc "I'm a tool" Burch or whoever he was up against in the first half.

Really like Duka's first touch, his speed, and his footwork.

Also, gets a high grade for giving Meram a beautiful cross to attack to make it 1-0. Great assist.
Mendes (8.5)- Can tell that Mendes is going to be a huge pickup for us in defense just after one game. How did New York Red Bull let this guy go?

With Mendes and Marshall, then Williams in the mix as well, and even Gehrig being competent; the Crew might have the best center back core around when all are healthy and fit.

I really feel confident with a backline of Miranda--Mendes--Marshall/Williams--Vukovic.

These guys are good enough to absorb tons of pressure and get 2-nil wins on the road. Mendes is going to be huge for our defense this year as long as he stays healthy.
Vukovic (8.5)- Nemanja Vukovic has been solid and consistent (for the most part) all year, ever since taking over the left back duties for Shaun Francis.

The only pit fall in Vuk's game has been his passing, late in a game, when he gets gassed.

But, last night I think was the Montenegrin's best performance of the season because Vukovic's passing was much improved.

Vukovic even showed a desire to score; as the towering left back fired off two long rangers that look destined for the back of the net (eventually) if he keeps shooting.

Also I liked seeing him get in Eddie "I'm an even bigger tool" Johnson's face after giving Williams a fore arm shiver.
Tchani (8)- Has taken a lot of crap from Crew fans as of late.. Possibly somewhat undeservedly; as Tchani is just not a right winger and was being played out of position by Warzycha.

But, Tchani did brilliantly well in midfield last night taking the ball and finding space to run into, then finding a pass, which soaked up precious minutes off the clock; Tchani did this on multiple occasions, when the Crew still held a perilous 1-0 lead.

Maybe Tchani played better last night because he was playing more central than he usually has as of late?
Warzycha (8)- I actually liked the game plan by Warzycha.

Without Mirosevic in the midfield, I'm guessing Warzycha knew it probably was unlikely at Seattle to control the midfield and the possession. Maybe the Crew just isn't a possession team, especially on the road, and is better at counterattacking?

But, thinking Warzycha liked his back four, with O'Rourke and Cole just ahead. And, figured an in form Meram, along with a now healthy Duka, with Renteria milling around in front would possibly be enough to snag a goal and slink away with some points.

They snagged two and got away with three points against Seattle, who always has had some voodoo on Warzycha's Crew. Can't complain about that.
Kevan (7.5)- Kevan George didn't do anything particularly noteworthy and that's part of the reason he gets a 7.5.

As a green rookie, that the Crew took a chance on, who possibly is lucky to of been drafted.. The fact that he didn't do anything wrong in front of 36,000 in Seattle deserves praise.

Further, Kevan appears to be a pretty good passer of the ball (hard, crisp passes that were always on target) and did well at times to get back and help out the back line.

Welcome to the Crew kid.
Miranda (7)- Played pretty solid all game, just gets a 7 compared to an 8.5 because Miranda had the one give away that Seattle should have taken more advantage of.

The play was actually a good one by Kevan George to come back and take the ball, it bounced to Miranda, Miranda didn't have time to react and kicked it to a Sounders attacker who still didn't have an idea; just like the Sounders attack suffered with all night, the overrated "juke until I run out of bounds" Johnson was easy enough for Miranda to contend with most of the night.
Williams (7)- Played solid all night as well, liked how he doesn't complain to the referees when getting elbowed by Eddie Johnson; just says okay let's get on with it. The type of attitude you want in a player.

But, just like Miranda, had one tricky spell of play that could have led to a goal.

This slip up was in the first half when Williams misjudged a ball, went too far ahead, and the ball flew over him. Luckily, on it's way past, Williams just got enough of a backheel on the ball to send it to Greunebaum before Montero could get on to the end of it.

Still was a bit nerve-racking. Josh has been solid, so is allowed one, once in a while.
Gaven (7)- Didn't do anything entirely miraculous. But, Gaven did a lot of the dirty work in attacking midfield, being almost an O'Rourke on that side of the field.

Gaven would clog things up, try to get possession, and push it out to Meram and Duka.

Much better performance than against San Jose, where it looked like Gaven had some jet lag- possibly from being the only player all season to be in just about every game.
O'Rourke (7)- Was the better of the two in defensive midfield. Played a strong game and broke things up often, even though it didn't mean a lot of touches or possession.

O'Rourke did what he had to do in a tough situation.

Crew fans will be hoping his injury isn't too severe. O'Rourke was pissed about the injury on the sideline, like to see that passion. He'll hopefully be back soon.
Cole (7)- Was injured as well. O'Rourke and Grossman both put their bodies on the line in defensive midfield to give there team a chance in this game. Did a good enough job for a second game, and hopefully his injury is not so bad as well.
Anor (6)- Had a nice run down central midfield, but not enough time in this game to make a definite impact.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

5/22/2012: Schelotto Sound Off On DP

Schelotto and Sigi Schmid with MLS Cup in 2008. Perhaps impossible if Guillermo was MLS commissioner someday with current Crew ownership

5/22/2012: Schelotto Sound Off On DP

Schelotto had an interesting question and answer a week back with Los Angeles Hoy.

Especially the following answer, which would've perhaps affected his trophy holding (with Schmid above) in a negative manner.

If you could change one thing about the MLS, what would it be?

Release the quota Designated Player. It would give teams the freedom to have the players they want and be as strong as they want to be.

Unchecked spending for stars in MLS, as Schelotto wants, would make teams like the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls much stronger.

But, for the usually tighter pocketbook of Crew owner Clark Hunt, such a move would make the Crew much, much, much weaker.

Such a move would make the Columbus Crew become the Wigan of MLS (if our stadium doesn't already look that way in quality and crowd).

Wigan's JJB Stadium

New York Cosmos-like spending would leave the Crew battling for survival in MLS but with no chance of any major hardware for the next 50 or so years.

5/22/2012: Things That Make You Go Hmm?

Columbus city officials have approved a 100 foot marquee sign, to hopefully attract naming rights buyers for Crew Stadium.

The sign is a bit odd and if it actually looks like this will probably cause a few crashes on I-71 if built:

The marquee sign also reminds me a lot of the distracting signage outside of the NBC 4 Building in downtown Columbus:

And further reminds me of the movie Major League, with Charlie Sheen, when the Cleveland Indians were really bad and decided to put yellow page ads all around old Municipal Stadium.

But, no, this rendering is no joke.

Also, of interest is that Pink Floyd will be touring if you check out the billboard to the right of the marquee. :-)

5/22/2012: Meram Bags 2 Goals In 2 Games

5/22/2012: Meram Bags 2 Goals In 2 Games, But Warzycha Still Short On Praise

Meram has bagged two goals in two games thanks to individual brilliance and confidence.

Warzycha may not be confident with Justin Meram's performance over a full 45 or 60 minutes, but Robert cannot deny the individual brillance of Meram (even if he rather be short about it).

"That was a nice piece of work by (Justin) Meram."

That's probably all Justin Meram is going to get from Warzcyha so far; meaning Meram is just going to have to continue to prove himself game by game... And as long as Meram scores (since Warzycha would probably like to keep his job) Meram will continue to get games.

“In college, I scored a lot of goals. As a rookie last year, I didn’t get much of a chance. Finally when I got the monkey off my back (last week), now I go out and play. I feel comfortable. I got that natural instinct back, which is good. As a goal-scorer, there’s always those droughts and moments where you’re either hot or you’re not. I’m going to keep riding this as long as I can.”

Andy Greunebaum, who's overall performance perhaps was the only thing to best Meram's individual curling beaut, seems to understand Meram to a better degree than possibly some of the coaching staff:

“I don’t think he was particularly having the best first half of his life, but that’s what he can do. He can change the game on one play. It doesn’t matter if he’s playing lights out or having a rough one. He’s very confident in his ability. He showed it there.”

I rather have a player who struggles in parts of the game and scores, than one who hustles, connects nice passes, and never scores.

But, Warzycha's preferences continue to be up in the air.

Even though Meram has 2 goals in 117 minutes..
And even though that's 1 more than the only other Crew striker with a goal, Olman Vargas..
And even though that goal was over 500 plus minutes ago, against the Montreal Impact in the home opener.

Meram's wondercurl will nevertheless force Meram at least momentarily into Warzycha's good graces:

5/22/2012: Greunebaum PK Save, MVP Performance

5/22/2012: Greunebaum PK Save, Performance Makes Him Crewture MVP

Andy Greunebaum's had 24 shots sent his way by the San Jose Earthquakes, 7 on target that "The Hebrew Hammer" blocked.

“We came out just a little sluggish. You could tell after their flurry, we settled down and actually created some good chances on our own. We had some good defensive plays to keep us (in the game). That’s your job as a goalkeeper sometimes, is to make a few saves and keep (your team) in the game if you can.

Well... Greunebaum made a few saves, tying his save record of 7. Greunebaum had 7 in his Crew debut back in 2006 in a 1-0 loss to New England.

Also, Greunebaum stuffed a Chris Wondolowski PK (along with a flurry of other opportunities):

William Hesmer better take note, as Hesmer, down the road, may have some competition in Gruenebaum.

Monday, May 21, 2012

5/21/2012: Crew Ratings & Thoughts vs. San Jose

Andy Greunebaum (10- MVP): All-star caliber performance for the "Hebrew Hammer" on Saturday. With San Jose peppering the Crew goal with 24 shots compared to the Crew's 1, Andy Greunebaum was flawless.

Also saved a PK; because of the save Danny Williams should have ripped down Alan Gordon in the penalty box before he half-volleyed the tying goal later on for the Earthquakes.

With Andy's night could have saved two PK's. The point was won by Andy Greunebaum. 

Hesmer may have a battle on his hands down the road to win back his position.
Justin Meram (9): Meram shows multiple qualities that no other Crew striker has at the moment (creativity, belief, and a cockiness- a striker's belief to individually make something happen).

Meram's picture perfect curler came out of nowhere and displayed creativity, and Meram almost doubled his tally with a nice attack in the 54th minute; because of this he was promptly subbed in the 60th minute for Dilly Duka.

Questionable sub as Meram was far more effective than Vargas. But, "apparently" the sub was based on game fitness.
Danny O'Rourke (7): Continued his good play from the previous week. Got up in the attack and was the most alive player in the midfield for the Crew.

Gaven, Tchani, and Mirosevic were disappointing in comparison. Overall, the midfield completely lost the battle against San Jose.. Only Danny O'Rourke kept San Jose in a bit of check.
Cole Grossman (7): Cole let us know that he was still alive and on the Crew roster with a surprise 45 minutes.

I liked what Grossman brought to the field as he outplayed an injured Mirosevic for the most part. The Crew midfield definitely played with more vigor in the second half, but still was dominated by San Jose.

Yet it was nice to see Cole grab some minutes.

Who knows a Grossman revival could follow a Meram revival, as Warzycha calls players back from the deep end of the roster.
Danny Williams (7): Was the best of the bunch in defense. Overall, the defenders were not as much at fault as the midfielders for getting overrun. But, there was some dubious play from the back line which allowed many opportunities for San Jose.

Still I felt Williams was solid, or well the most solid.
Warzycha (6.5): Some dubious decisions like allowing Tchani to still wonder around the midfield, substituting the only offensive threat in Meram, and not granting Renteria 15 minutes out of his dog house to try to run past San Jose late in the game.

But, a win at home and a tie on the road is what a coach needs to do. So, Warzycha improves on last week's 6, with a 6.5.

Also, helps that this tie is against one of the best team's in the west, a (7-2-3) San Jose side.

A game on Wednesday vs. Seattle, mano-e-mano against former Crew Head Coach Sigi Schmid is a chance for Warzycha to really ho-hum the fans asking for his job.
Miranda (6): Miranda is unlikely to remember this week's performance as fondly as his 20 foot header to win last week's game against F.C. Dallas.

Did nothing terrible, but also did nothing remarkable. Allowed too many services from his side.
Vukovic (6): Just like Miranda, did nothing terrible but did nothing remarkable to stem the San Jose attack.

Vuk has a high engine; that might need a little more time in the garage compared to constant revving up into the attack and then rushing back to defend.

Nevertheless, most Crew fans, as well as coaching staff, prefer 80 minutes of high octane Vukovic compared to the alternatives.
Duka (6): Had some (not so surprising) rust in his game to shake off.

However, Duka added some energy to the midfield that was severely lacking in the first half.

No matter Duka's performance, one has to give him a 6 for being back on the field.

His addition in midfield for the next two games, will likely help the Crew midfield control a few games instead of chase a few.
Francis (6): Not much you can say for the 10 minutes. Some Crew fans think Francis could've done more to get in front of Gordon's blast in stoppage time.

I don't think he could have. That's just one of those things, 24 attempts and one is going to hit pay dirt.
Gehrig (5): Could have been a little more self-assured in defense. Gehrig is good cover when he is on top of his game, but sometimes is a little inconsistent and scares me a little back there.

Gave Lenhart, Gordon, a little too much time on the ball. But, also when he jumps in sometimes it's a bit hasty.
Mirosevic (5): Starting to lose some patience with the Chilean playmaker.

Mirosevic was supposed to be this guy who came in and made goals and assists happen from midfield. But, when given a good opportunity to finish in front of the net on Saturday, he decided to pass it off.

Mirosevic never was this passive in Chile for Universidad, with a goal every 3 games.

Still the best option at AM, but with Duka back could slot him to striker with Meram. Might make more happen farther up the pitch. Either way Warzycha has to inspire Miro to pull the trigger more.
Tchani (5): Not as bad as last week. Was involved in the build up that led to Meram's goal.

But, still lacking a first touch and doesn't look up to connect his passes.

Sometimes just hits a ball hoping it reaches some unintended target, reminding me of high school ball players at times.
Vargas (5): Played 90 minutes and not sure why coming off of injury?

Especially since he was painfully slow and rarely effective over the entirety of the 90 minutes.

I don't see him being a real force with Columbus. Rather let a Meram, Mirosevic partnership work out. Or even a Meram, Renteria one.

Just Renteria 2.0. A guy that does a lot of work but can't get a shot on target over 90 minutes. Puts in a good shift, gets recognized for it by his alright national side, but is unlikely to be a star at home or abroad.
Gaven (5): Not the best game from Eddie Gaven. Just didn't really get involved and checked out for periods of the game.

Has been the most consistent midfielder probably all season, but this Saturday just wasn't one of his best games.

Friday, May 18, 2012

5/18/2012: Josh Williams Strange Journey To The Starting Eleven

Josh Williams Strange Journey To The Starting Eleven
By Ryan Kozlowski
Crewture Editor

Josh Williams was very close from never receiving the opportunity to become a professional player.

The right back, who has surprised coaching staff and fans a like at the Columbus Crew, under normal circumstances would've never received the chance to impress.

An unexpected phone call and a decision to answer changed that.

Williams was in a college class at Cleveland State, an unknown number called.

Could've been a telemarketer. A creditor. But, for some reason Williams answered. It was Crew's Coach Brian Bliss.

Bliss was on the phone because he wanted to possibly sign Josh. Bliss wanted the unknown Josh to be ready to be a backup signing in a hour for Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew, if another deal fell through on deadline day.

"Wow," was Josh's reaction.

Josh wouldn't have answered an unknown number in the middle of class usually, could of let it go to voice mail, and continued to hear about Schedule Star in his Sport Management lecture that afternoon.

If he did the usual, not answer his phone in class, chances are Josh Williams wouldn't be a Major League Soccer player today.

Josh likely would've instead struggled to get a foot in the door of the management side of sports, where six figure salaries are not made for several years.

But, in a stroke of good fortune a higher profile, overseas signing did fall through on that day and Josh Williams did sign with the Columbus Crew.

Now Williams, who was at the first Crew game in 1996 as an 8 year old fan, has over 60 appearances for the club that he has always followed.

Luck wasn't just in that class room for Williams on that day.

There were a lot of forks in the road for the Akron native to professional success. Josh often took Robert Frost's road less traveled to get there.

One example of choosing the harder path, from Steve Sirk's excellent article on Josh, was that Josh could've played baseball at Division I colleges.

Josh Williams had full rides to Kentucky and West Virginia, but his heart wasn't in it.

Josh decided baseball wasn't for him and he went to Cleveland State instead for soccer.

Just imagine turning down a Wildcats or Mountaineer uniform for a Horizon league outfit. Especially the CSU Vikings, who were not a juggernaut in any sport.

But, Cleveland State was the only team that gave Josh Williams the same opportunities with college soccer.

The Cleveland State men's soccer team was 0-16-1 the year before Williams went there. After Williams appeared, Cleveland State were in the battle for the Horizon League championship twice.

Following a successful career at Cleveland State, Josh played lower division soccer with the Cleveland Internationals and received semi-chances with the Crew in reserve exhibitions.

That is how the Columbus Crew's Brian Bliss became accustomed with the hard working Williams, mainly because he was in the area and persistent.

When those chances occurred with Columbus reserves luck played a role then too for Williams. With an injury or two, Williams took the most of his opportunities and never looked back.

At Cleveland State

But, Bliss isn't really taking full credit for the discovery of Williams.

"Josh wasn't really on our radar, but we knew him," Bliss recalls. "He did OK in those college games (with the Crew). His geographic location was a big part of it."

Josh has been a starter for the Columbus Crew for the next four seasons.

Not bad for someone who wasn't on a team's radar.
Was only signed because another deal fell through.
He was geographically close.
And he picked up his phone.

5/18/2012: Brek Shea Fined For Nutting Referee Vs. Crew

The MLS Disciplinary Committee Suspended Brek Shea For 3 Games For Literally "Nutting A Referee," the odd flick to the referees midsection occurred in the 24th minute of F.C. Dallas's 2-1 loss to the Crew on Saturday:

Shea, being one of Der Jurgen's favorite new national teamers, must of thought he could get away with abusing lowly MLS side judges.

Oddly, during the game, the speedy winger didn't even receive a yellow card for his infraction; but MLS correctly took another look and came to a conclusion of, "yeah probably want to nip that horseplay in the bud."

Here's the official statement from Major League Soccer and the offices of Don Garber in New York:
NEW YORK – The MLS Disciplinary Committee has suspended FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea for three games and fined him an undisclosed amount for deliberately kicking the ball at an assistant referee in the 24th minute of the game against Columbus Crew on May 12. Shea will serve his suspension during the next three FC Dallas regular season games.

All I have to say is that MLS linesman should win an award for best reaction. "0ww!" for a second and "I'm alright, nothing happened, play on,":-)

While, Brek Shea should win an award for dumbest reason to get suspended for three games.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

5/16/2012: Crew vs. FC Dallas Ratings And Thoughts

MVP: Miranda (9.5)- A 20 yard header for the win was pure perfection by Sebastian Miranda, as close as a 10 that one can get on a rating.

Sebastian was self-assured in defense and came up big when the Crew couldn't leave Crew Stadium with anything less than 3 points.
Meram (9)- When it takes a striker just 57 minutes to do what it takes 1,689 minutes for four other strikers to do, SCORE A GOAL, you deserve some props.

It was nice to see a striker look like a striker for a game.

Confident blast, taking defenders on, not back passing and with a clue near the 18. What is this? Confidence is very un-Crew-like for a Crew striker.
Williams (9)- The one thing a Crew fan can't really complain about is our defense in what has become a dire situation...

Other than the one brow beating against New York Red Bull, the back four has been pretty solid considering all the injuries.

Williams has really came out of nowhere and shined, having the two best opportunities to score in the Crew's last two outings before F.C. Dallas, and playing strong defense in all three. He'll likely retain his place in the backline for a fourth game along with Mendes, if Mendes returns.
O'Rourke (8)- Getting back into fitness and his normal intelligence level at the DM position, took him a few games as could be expected.

But, O'Rourke cleaning up in that portion of the field has freed Mirosevic to be more creative and to venture forward more.

Once Duka comes back on the wing, we get a few defenders back, and if O'Rourke plays like he did against Dallas (which frees Mirosevic) the Crew will be a lot better of a team.
Vukovic (8)- A diamond in the rough, the one positive move the coaching staff has made in the offseason.

Covers a ton of ground, big, has speed, a sense of adventure to get forward down the wings, a sharp left-footed cross.

Definitely has helped solve the Shaun Francis issues. Nice to see a player get wide correctly.
Mirosevic (7)- Still haven't seen Mirosevic's best. I think when Duka comes back, with Gaven on his other side, and O'Rourke behind him; will see a much more dynamic and controlling midfield (hopefully).

Did get involved in the attack more and was just inches away from tapping in his first goal.

Think Mirosevic needs a goal soon and once he finds one he may not stop.
Gaven (7)- Better at forward than Finlay, did what he had to do in an awkward position. Set up some opportunities. Not a barn burning performance from Gaven, close to a 6, but Gaven never does anything to lose us a game.. Which is more than you can say about a few performances in the F.C. Dallas game
Gehrig (7)- Playing with more confidence game by game and is a good defender off of the bench. I still don't feel as confident with him as I would Marshall, Mendes, or now Williams.

He definitely has increased his stock and will be with this team for at least a few more years because of it. But, his play could be a little more self-assured at times.

Also could have done a little more on F.C. Dallas's goal to break up that chance.
Anor (6)- Not Dilly Duka, but with Duka gone for at least another week I would like to see Warzycha put someone out on the wing that knows what he is doing (to a degree) and can get a cross off, pull off some passes.

Anor deserves another look out there at least until Duka comes back, was improved over Tchani.
Greunebaum (6)- The F.C. Dallas goal was savable, but not his fault either, other than that wasn't really challenged.

Kind of had an awkward play out of danger in the back, needs to sometimes keep himself in the game for a full 90.

Has a great game against Portland Timbers, then makes a few dubious decisions. But, made a few good saves.
Francis (6)- Gets a baseline 6, not enough time on the field. Likely to stay that way for a while with Vukovic around.
Warzycha (6)- Plays Finlay at striker for another game when he was horrible at striker against the Portland Timbers; at the MLS level Finlay is better on a wing.

Plays Tchani at right wing again although he was horrible out there against the Portland Timbers and for a few games in fact; Tchani is a central midfielder.

At least realized some of his mistakes at half, made some adjustments by bringing Meram and Anor in. Got the win finally at home, so can't be too upset.
Finlay (4)- Just better options out there like Meram. I just haven't seen yet what makes Finlay a 1st round choice.

Sure, Finlay may play better in practice or reserve games but Warzycha has a track record in taking too much stock in practices.

Schelotto was never a practice player, maybe Meram isn't either; but Warzycha rather play someone who gives him 120 percent in practice, even if they don't particularly have the skill in the games.

Robert has a track record of this with Grossman, Burns, Heinemann, Schoenfield, and now Finlay.
Renteria (4)- Nearing 600 minutes without a goal is never good, especially when your supposed to be the No. 1 guy to replace the much maligned but scoring Mendoza (13 goals in 2011).

Renteria's only saving grace is he has scored goals in the past for the Columbus Crew (13 goals in 42 games before this season).

Vargas, Schoenfield, Finlay, Heinemann and Meram only have 5 goals with the Crew in comparison combined.

However, Renteria was supposed to be more fit this year and it was supposed to be his season. And so far it's been a flop.

Tchani (1)- Tchani looks like one of my high school players on the wing who has no idea that as a winger your supposed to play wide, collect the ball, look for a past central or sprint down the wing, beat a defender, and send in a dangerous cross.

But, it's not his fault because he's a central midfielder (always has been one) and for injury reasons Warzycha has converted him out to a winger.

It's pretty sad though when Tchani is so desperate for the ball to go out to save himself from playing defense that he points and shouts and lets the F.C. Dallas have a free run on goal. Could of cost the Crew badly needed points.