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Game 5: Houston Dynamo @ the Crew Pregame

April 26, 2008

The Crew return home after winning on the road against D.C. and currently sit in 2nd place in the East. The Dynamo are the only winless team left in MLS. The Crew are tied for the league lead with goals scored with four and the Dynamo offense is sputtering. To say these teams are in stark contrast is an understatement. Both teams are some of the early season surprises in the league, and both teams look to make a statement. The Crew want to confirm their resurgence and the defending champs want to turn around their early season form. This should be an entertaining game.

Crew on Offense:

The offense revolves around Schelotto and Moreno. When these two have been in form, the Crew have won. Moreno has the extra incentive to do well against his former team. The offense also has gotten timely goals from Rogers and Moffat. It has been a team effort on offense with the team winning the battles in the midfield. Carroll and Moffat have controlled possession and gotten involved in the offense. Rogers has been effective at getting behind the defense and Gaven has shown a glimpse of his attacking ability as well. The Crew will have to control the midfield against a talented group of players. Ricardo Clark can shut down an offense. Brian Mullan and Brad Davis can create problems. The Houston defense however is not as solid. Ianni and Boswell have not settled yet and Richard Mulrooney will be playing out of position at left back due to injury. The Crew offense has an opportunity continue their strong start against a weakened team.

Crew on Defense:

The defense has been in a bend, but not break mode. Houston boasts some great offensive talent. Dewayne De Rosario can change a game with a fierce long range shot. Carroll and Moffat will have to contain DeRo. Brian Ching, off to a slow start, can still do some damage. I am most concerned about the attack trough the wings. Davis and Mullan can cause some problems. Padula has had some unsettled performances so far, but seems to be improving.  It will be interesting to see if he can start to solidify the left side. Marshall has been solid aside from a few missteps; the central defense will hinge on the performance of O’Rourke. He is prone to a few blunders a game and whether or not those blunders are turned into goal will be pivotal.

Final Thoughts:

Houston is a very talented team off to a bad start. The Crew are currently in very good form. I can see Houston breaking out and handing the Crew their first loss at home, but I can also see the Crew pulling out a win and deepening Houston’s problems. I actually see this game playing out very much like the game at D.C. I see the Crew doing well in the midfield for long stretches and the defense bending, but not breaking. The Crew continue to turn Crew Stadium into a tough place to play.

Crew 2 – Houston 1

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