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Eastern Conference Finals: Grades

November 17, 2008

Hesmer – 7: Yes, he was indecisive on McBride’s goal, but he was unflappable against Chicago’s late game push with all the traffic he had around him.

Hejduk – 7: A steady presence behind Gaven. He kept Mapp in check most of the game.

Marshall – 10: Simply the best defensive performance all year. McBride did not win a ball in the air.

O’Rourke – 7: Calm and assured work against Blanco, Rolfe, and any other Chicago offensive threat.

Padula – 7: The Fire had no luck against the Crew’s sterling left back.

Gaven – 8: Put in an outstanding two-way performance. His goal was a combination of perfect vision, composure, and skill.

Carroll – 7: He sprayed his passes forward and was not his usual self in transition, but his defensive posture was excellent.

Evans – 7: His defense was solid and he mad good decisions. Exactly what the Crew needed.

Rogers – 7: He seemed to be holding back until late in the game. He floated

Schelotto – 10: Not only did he do the big things, but he did the little things with his header against Soumare and his defense down the stretch. Some people are winners; he is one of those people.

Moreno – 7: He did what he did. His header to Gaven was a brilliant move to open up the Fire defense.

Ekpo – 6: Floated through the Chicago defense at the end of the game, perfect way to kill time.

Iro – NR: He got his big frame under a few late lobs.

Crew Man of the Match – I could pick either Marshall or Schelotto here, but I am not going to decide between them. I am sad to think it may be their last home games.

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