Last night a handful more than 19,000 people crammed into Crew Stadium to watch the hometown side extend it’s home unbeaten streak to 20 games and it’s overall winning streak to five against FC Dallas.
There really isn’t much to say about this game, The Crew played like champs (again) and dominated a Dallas team that many people thought was making a late-season playoff run. Dallas, led by forward Jeff Cunningham, had exactly zero shots on goal in the entire first half. For those of you who are new to the game: Our goalkeeper, Sir William Hesmer, didn’t need to make a save for 45 straight minutes.
Of course, the FC Dallas goalie didn’t make a save for the entire game, but that’s because all of our shots on goal went into the net.
It was one of those games that was both fun to watch yet excruciating to endure. Columbus had chances all night long—on breakaways, crosses, pass combinations into the box—but they were mostly a few inches off the mark, leaving the crowd stunned and wondering why we didn’t finish.
I don’t want to be a downer, but I’m going to rant for a second: We had a horrible touch all night long. there were many times when a nice, easy pass was needed but the ball was sent sailing. There were at least three times (probably more) where the ball was given away because our guys didn’t cradle an incoming pass, and more often than I’d like to admit we simply sent the ball way off it’s mark. In short, we got lucky a lot last night.
Rant, part two: Why did no one, except Eddie Gaven, take the ball to the net and put it away? There were multiple times when Robbie Rogers, Alejandro Moreno, or Emmanuel Ekpo would break open a run down the sideline, get into the box, and then pull up and look for a pass.
I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that our guys need to start taking people on. There is nothing wrong with going one on one, fellas. We’d much rather you take the shot than pull up and then give the ball away. All it takes is some cojones.
Ok, thanks. Rant over.
Chad Marshall’s score in the 10th minute was another automatic goal from a guy that has a big red “X” on his back. Opposing teams try and stop him but he just keeps putting the ball in the net and he’s not going to stop embarrassing MLS defenses until he finally makes the jump to Europe.
And then there was Eddie Gaven. In the 87th, Eddie broke off at midfield, ran down the middle, made four FCD players fall over, and then scored. It was as simple as that, he just took the ball to the goal and beat the keeper. You know, like soccer players are supposed to do.
For their part, Dallas ran around the field aimlessly for the better part of 90 minutes. They had a few chances, the most worrisome was in the 72nd, but Sir Willie denied Jeff Cunningham and they remained scoreless. The Hoops did a great job of proving that their two-game “winning streak” wasn’t as big of a deal as everyone thought.
Everyone’s favorite MVP, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, entered the game in the 90th minute to a standing ovation. He was put in for one reason and one reason alone: to log a minute in a game so that one of the yellow cards he accumulated would come off of his record.
It was a quality win for The Massive, though there are some things that we need to work on before we get too deep into Champions League play. The Puerto Rico Islanders come to town on Tuesday night to get that little party kicked off, and I hope that the reason for our foibles on Saturday was the guys taking it easy on Dallas so they can unload on PR.
I hope. [Photo by Studio 79]