Game 29: Crew 1 – NYRB 3
It is a good thing the Crew did not need to win this game, because I would have had some serious concerns about Coach Schmid’s lineup. What else did I expect with five starters out, including two on the back line and our starting keeper. If I would have known about the wholesale changes, I would have predicted a result much like last night’s. You can tell it is not your night when the opposing team’s keeper scores off of a 70 yard free kick.
I cannot stress how difficult last night’s game was to watch. It was hard to watch any soccer on the concrete that the Red Bulls play on. It was just as hard to watch a makeshift Crew lineup muddle around on the same concrete. Possession was shaky all game. The Crew did not create many offensive chances as reserves Steven Lenhart, Pat Noonan, and Emmanuel Ekpo failed to shine or even glimmer.
One bright spot was the play of Guillermo Barros Schelotto. He created the only offense of the game off of his free kick. While he was not exceptionally sharp on the turf, he does look like he is rounding into form just in time for the playoffs. I also think that O’Rourke and Padula played better than a week ago. I hope the defense continues to improve for the playoffs; I expect they will as long as Ezra doesn’t see any action.
I hope the team is not dwelling too much on last night’s game, especially Andy Gruenebaum. It was much closer game than a 3-1 score line looks, but I have credit to New York for rising to the occasion while the Crew backups did not. I look for the team to use this as a wake up call. The 9 game unbeaten streak is over and the playoffs are just two weeks away. The Crew can certainly use next week’s game against D.C. to get back to their winning ways.