Pregame 9: Crew @ LA
The Crew are on a roll. They have not lost since early April. Well, they only have one win, but this is a team that has been improving since the start of the year. The Galaxy have nearly the same record, but have been carried by Landon Donovan and a couple timely penalty calls. They have not looked as fluid or as good as a struggling Crew team. This looks like a good game to get a winning streak started.
Crew on Offense: The Crew offense has really started to click now that the lineup has shifted. Eddie Gaven has played two great games since moving in the middle. He has gotten a goal and has been involved in the offense, really acting like a fulcrum. That has enabled Ekpo to move to the right where he has flourished. If Rogers ankle is 100%, the Crew midfield would test any defense, let alone one as shaky as the Galaxy’s. Adding Schelotto’s and Moreno’s talent, the Crew offense can score on anyone.
Crew on Defense: As good as the offense is, the defense has been just as shaky. The team has given up only 3 goals in the first half and 11 in the second half. The revolving door of personnel has hurt, but now the starting back four is together for the second week in a row. This will be very important to neutralizing Landon Donovan. He has been the center of LAs offense all year. Marshall, O’Rourke, and even Carroll will have to keep an eye on Donovan. Even with a few miscues, Gruenebaum has played admirably in Hesmer’s absence.
Final Thoughts: This looks like a great shot a road win. The Crew offense should be able to score on a Galaxy defense that is in flux. The key will be if the defense plays a solid game. If the defense shuts down Landon and crew, then Columbus wins. It should be a simple as that.
Crew 3 – LA 1