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Game 9 – Revolution @ Crew

May 24, 2008

This is the start of a busy week for the Crew. The Crew play New England tonight, RSL in the Open Cup on Tuesday, and then head cross country to L.A. to play Chivas USA next Saturday. The Revs come into town just three points behind Columbus, having played one more game. This is setup to be a true “6 point game”. The Crew’s job will be a little easier as Taylor Twellman will be out for the next 3 to 6 weeks. The Revolution has other offensive weapons, but none as strong as Twellman. The Crew must continue to get three points against weakened teams.

Crew on Offense:

The Crew offense stumbled on the windy turf of BMO Field. The team will have to get back to it’s high scoring ways. The offense revolves around Schelotto, but it has been Rogers and Moreno scoring the goals. The offense is focused on a a few great weapons, but it would be nice to diversify the score sheet. Either Evans and Ekpo will probably start in midfield. Both have shown some offensive presence in central midfield and will need to continue to press into the attack. Adam Moffat looks to be rehabbing quickly and may be ready to return. Eddie Gaven has been working hard on his defensive responsibilities, but he needs to get into goal scoring positions. This team can break down most opponents, on grass at least. I expect to see a couple goals tonight.

Crew on Defense:

The Revolution has had to spread the wealth on offense. 8 different players have tallied goals. The defense will have to cover some speedy talent. The Revs investment in two Gambian players has paid off. Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi have tallied twice. Other role players are stepping up and the ageless Steve Ralston is finally getting healthy. The Crew defense has been improving as Danny O’Rourke is settling in, Chad Marshall has been in fine form, and Frankie Hejduk continues to play 10 years younger than his 33 years. Ezra Hendrickson will probably start his fourth straight game. Toronto targeted him last week and found some success, but he will again be expected to start on the left side in place of the still injured Gino Padula. The team has been played well during the run of play, partly due to the play of Brian Carroll. The key will be their play on set pieces.

Final Thoughts:

The Crew faltered last week on offense, but still got the point in Toronto. I initially thought this game looked like a classic “trap game” and the Crew would lose, but the loss of Twellman for the Revs and an improved defense points towards the Crew pulling out the victory. It is important to get points when Rogers, Hejduk, and Gaven are still available. This team has shown an ability to get the job done when necessary. They face a short week with a mid week Open Cup game and a cross country trip. It is very important to score a win and keep the pressure on the rest of the conference.

Revs 1 – Crew 2

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