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Game 2: Crew @ NYRB Pregame

April 5, 2008

The Crew head on the road for the first time this season to face a New York Red Bull team that has been struck by a series of early season injuries. The Crew, coming off last week’s win, will have to build off their solid defensive play against a potent Red Bull attack and pull out the result on the road.

Crew on Offense:

I think that NYRB will be most vulnerable to aggressive attacking from the wings. Red Bull starts two rookies on the wings and plays a three man back line. Rogers, Gaven, and Schelotto should have some space to work with. Moffat and Carroll will have to provide that linking role so the team can transition from defense to offense and maintain possession. As always, Moreno will have to finish his chances when he gets them. The Crew have shown the ability to score off of transition. They need to add more possession to their game. This will help the defense by releiving the pressure that built up at times last week.

Crew on Defense:

Marshall and O’Rourke are the keys to defensive success this week. Angel and Altidore are top class finishers. Staying close to their marks and closing down space this week is essential. Moffat and Carroll can make the job easier by imposing more control on the game. There were sparks last week, but I have to agree with Scott Tann, Toronto had the ability to build possession through the midfield too often. Having to withstand constant pressure helped create the defensive lapses the Crew had last year. The central midfielder need to alleviate that pressure. Hejduk and Miglioranzi will have to contain two rookies on the wings. I am not sure how Sassano and Borman play, but I am relieved not to see Dane Richards racing down the sidelines.

Final Thoughts:

The Crew showed they can beat a team they needed to beat at home last week. They need to take points away from New York while they are in transition. I like the match ups we have on the wings. I am not sure how O’Rourke will hold up against some top opposition. The Crew result will depend on Moffat and Carroll doing the little things on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. I am still not sold on the offense and I see O’Rourke making a key mistake. I am thinking tie, but always wanting that win.

Crew 1 – NYRB 1 (I hope this is the game where they prove me wrong)

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