Pregame 5: Rapids @ Crew
A bruised and battered Crew team gets back in action against Colorado this evening. The injury list is long and the season has gotten off to a poor start. If the Crew are going to get their first win, it will have to come from the efforts of some unproven players. Starters Chad Marshall, Frankie Hejduk, and Robbie Rogers are out due to injury. Backups Andy Iro, Pat Noonan, and Jason Garey are also out. The unheralded backups will have to step up and deliver.
Crew on Offense: The offense has sputtered this season. Schelotto has been on form, but Moreno, Garey, and Lenhart have not been able to get into too many dangerous positions. Ekpo has had problems adjusting to the middle. Rogers injury has sapped him of his speed. The good news is that the return of Adam Moffat will push Ekpo out wide to a more comfortable position. He has the speed to attack the defense; now he should have the space.
Moffat also will help Brian Carroll with his transition duties. Carroll has had problems this year on both sides of the ball. He and Ekpo did not settle like Evans or Moffat did last year. Moffat can play a box to box midfield game. He is in the middle of everything and should allow Carroll an outlet on offense while helping on defense.
Crew on Defense: This is the problem area for the Crew; the defense have been unusually porous this year. Mounting injuries are only going to add to the uncertainty on the back line.Eric Brunner will have to fill the giant hold left by Marshall. Brunner will have to face up against Conor Casey, who scored a hat trick.
Colorado is at it’s most dangerous when they can pump in crosses from the wings. Zayner looks to get another start at right back. He needs to play with more consistency to solidify the right side and shut down the dangerous crosses into Casey. Padula will also be tasked with cutting off supply from the left. Ekpo and Gaven will have to mind their defensive responsibilities to help out Padula and Zayner.
Final Thoughts: This is a tough game for the Crew. Injuries and poor form have killed the Crew’s start of the season. A loss of confidence could kill off the rest. This team has to stop thinking about last year. Sigi;s magic went to Seattle, but there are still plenty of good players on this team. The need to look to themselves and turn the season around.
Colorado 2 – Crew 2