Game Grades: Crew vs. New England Revolution

As the seconds ticked away at field, it looked as though the Columbus Crew, despite being up a man since the 65th minute, would come away from Saturday’s match against the New England Revolution without a result. But then came an equalizer late in stoppage time — too late, if you ask the Revolution — and the Black & Gold escaped with a 1-1 draw.

It was a deserved point for a team that dominated much of the second half after going up a man, but struggled to find the finishing that was crucial to the team’s success to start its four-game unbeaten run. The visitors fought hard to get the three points but were unable to do so thanks to the late-game magic.

Here’s how the Columbus players performed in the match.


Patrick Schulte (8.5) – There certainly may be a goalkeep controversy for the Crew once Eloy Room is fit. Schulte was outstanding as he faced 8 shots on target from New England, stopping all but one, which came from his own teammate. From the number’s perspective, Schulte had an outstanding +1.6 post-shot expected goals, double the second-best performance from a Black & Gold goalkeeper this season, which was Schulte’s performance against Real Salt Lake. It’s hard to blame Schulte for the goal Columbus allowed and it will certainly be interesting to see how this situation is handled when Room gets healthy.

Steven Moreira (6.0) – Saturday marked a middle-of-the-road game from Moreira. The right center back’s two clearances and two interceptions were important in keeping the Revolution from keeping possession in the Crew’s final third. While he led the team in touches, he didn’t do enough with the ball to avoid stagnating the Black & Gold’s attack despite getting forward often.

Milos Degenek (6.0) – Starting with the bad was the own goal. The center back took the blame for the finish after the match. But focusing on that one moment ignores an overall strong game from the Australian. Degenek had three times the clearances of any other player with six. He had a blocked shot, four tackles and a shot on target. Yes, Degenek made a mistake. But if it weren’t for his other contributions, Columbus would have given up multiple goals.

Gustavo Vallecilla (5.5) – It was a quiet game from Vallecilla and in many ways, he forced his center back partners to make more plays. Against New England’s attacking threats, Vallecilla struggled to keep up. He failed to have a single interception or clearance and wasn’t able to provide much the way of a defensive impact, especially when the Revs were at full strength.

Mohamed Farsi (7.0) – Farsi struggled at times to keep up defensively, but was consistently able to recover. Offensively the wing back was very involved in the build-up along the right side, pushing high into the final third. Farsi provided the hockey assist on the equalizer, recognizing the space to play the ball that led to the primary assist.

Will Sands (6.5) – Sands was strong for the team on the left side of the pitch. But while the wing back received the ball enough (he had 62 touches, just below the team average), he failed to make an impact either defensively or offensively. Two tackles were Sands’ only significant contribution to the stat sheet. And while he had 88.6 percent passing accuracy, he only attempted 35 passes in the game.  

Darlington Nagbe (6.5) – Nagbe was substituted late to get fresh legs in the midfield but over the first 91 minutes, he played well for the Crew. As is often the case, Ngbae completed a high percentage of his passes, 53 of 57, and pushed into the attack consistently, although he didn’t record a shot.

Aidan Morris (7.0) – Morris came off the field in the 78th minute ahead of his midweek match with the United States Men’s National Team against Mexico, but not before putting in another solid shift. While he only had two tackles, which is off his standard pace of 5.3 tackles per match, both came in key moments, helping to snuff out potential Revolution counter attacks.  What really shined statistically on Saturday was his passing percentage, as Morris completed 49 out of 50 passes to help the Black & Gold in possession.

Lucas Zelarayán (7.5) Zelarayán led the team with eight shots on the night, three of which were on target, and deserved a goal for his efforts. He instead ended up with the assist in the equalizer with a beautifully chipped ball in the penalty box. Zelarayán was highly involved on the night and helped work to break down New England’s defense, particularly after the red card.

Alexandru Matan (7.5) – Matan had a great opportunity in the 80th minute with a well-placed ball that Djordje Petrovic successfully saved, but he was unable to convert any of his three shots. On the whole, the attacking midfielder’s passing was excellent throughout the evening, as he worked to create multiple goal-scoring opportunities throughout the match.

Christian Ramírez (6.0) – On a night when Columbus shot the ball 21 times, only two of those came from the team’s striker and neither was on target. Ramirez struggled to get involved in the game, finishing with only 28 touches, and his inability to contribute to the buildup stunted several Crew attacks.


Jacen Russell-Rowe (5.5) – Russell-Rowe only had two touches in the final 18 minutes of the game after coming off the bench. And while one of those touches was a shot on target, the forward needs to be more active in finding the game during his limited opportunities on the field, particularly as the Crew did nothing but attack while he was on the pitch.

Yaw Yeboah (6.0) – Yeboah also did very little after being substituted into the game in 78th minute. The wingerr was 10 for 10 on passes and helped keep the pressure on the Revs as the Crew struggled to find the equalizer.

Jimmy Medranda (N/A) – Medranda was subbed on in the 87th minute but didn’t make enough of an impact to earn a game grade.

Sean Zawadzki (8.0) – While Crew fans may have been surprised when Zawadzki was named Man of the Match despite only playing seven minutes, the midfielder certainly made his time count. His game-winning goal, a header to the far post, will echo on in Crew fans’ minds going forward.

Head Coach

Wilfred Nancy (8.0) –   It’s hard to find fault with the Crew’s recent unbeaten streak. Nancy has pushed the right buttons, leading to success even though the team has been without its star striker in Cucho Hernandez. While the Crew absolutely wanted to walk away with all three points on Saturday, the Black & Gold will take a draw against the team that currently tops the Eastern Conference standings.

2 thoughts on “Game Grades: Crew vs. New England Revolution

  1. I always look forward to the game grades segment. Thank you for writing this after each match. I largely agree with your grades from this week and most weeks, but I have a couple observations.

    1. I don’t think Ramirez had a 6.0 impact on the game. He was very quiet and struggled to do much for long stretches. I’d score him around a 5. Comparatively, JRR impacted the game more in his ten-ish minutes than Ramirez did the whole time. I would put JRR at a 6.
    2. Milos Degenek and Gustavo Vallecilla were both sub-par all night. They struggled with sloppy giveaways that led to us being under constant pressure. I agree, Milos had some blocks that helped, but his giveaways and the own goal made Saturday his poorest effort of the year. As for Vallencilla, he struggled a lot when NE applied pressure and forced him to hold the ball in space. Going into the game, I was starting to think maybe we don’t need a left-footed defender as much as I thought in February. After Saturday, I’m back to thinking we do. So, I’d rate both of them sub-5.0.

    Small point: the white-on-black is hard to read.

    Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words and thoughtful feedback! I think those are great points and I think yesterday really showed some of the flaws in our backline, especially on the counter where the team looked really vulnerable at times. Thanks for commenting and for following us to the new site!


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