The Trillium Cup got underway this past weekend between Toronto FC and Columbus Crew SC, with Columbus emerging with a 2-1 victory over their Canadian rivals. Here, we will break down each Crew SC player and why they got their rating. The ratings were given by whoscored.com.
Trillium Cup Ratings: Rating Columbus Crew SC In Leg One Of The Trillium Cup
Zack Steffan: 7.0
First, we’ll start with Crew SC’s goalkeeper Zack Steffan. Earning a solid 7.0, Steffan wasn’t as dominant as he has been. He wasn’t tested as much as before the match Saturday, but he did get the job done. A key save from the Crew keeper had to be the big stop in the first half to deny Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore from getting his second of the game.
Jukka Raitala: 6.6
The Finnish defender could have easily gotten a 6.8-6.9 had it not been for the goal and his yellow card. However, the left-back was all over the place. Defending, creating chances, etc. Everything that a left-back should have skill wise, you saw on display from Raitala. Don’t don’t think you can match any other full-back against Raitala.
Nicolai Naess: 7.2
Ever since the arrival of Nico Naess last season, the guy has been a stellar option in the centre-back role. Although he may be restricted it seems, he also has been put into a defensive mid role and has excelled there. On Saturday, he showed why he is the first option for a centre-back. With a 4.1 percentage of possession and a successful passing percent of 78, Naess is someone you don’t want to mess with.
Alex Crognale: 7.5
The man is huge. HUGE! Crognale is a homegrown player from Ohio. After making his debut start against D.C. United last month, Crognale has been a lean mean defensive machine. Crognale has not yet sealed his spot in the starting 11, but the kid can work. Rebounding after the opener goal from Altidore, Crognale responded back with an assist on the Justin Meram goal, just seconds before the half-time whistle.
Harrison Afful: 6.9
After injuring his hand before last week’s match against the Chicago Fire, Afful was scratched for Crew SC’s clash with the Men In Red. He was back on Saturday and performed as an average player. It seemed as though he was limited on touches, but this hypothesis could be wrong. However, he still is a fast one and great full back player for the Black and Gold.
Wil Trapp: 6.8
The newly minted captain of Columbus had a good game. Yeah, it may be an understatement, but Trapp seemed to be M.I.A throughout the game. Maybe it seemed to be because Crew played more out to the wings instead of the middle. But Trapp’s stats show otherwise. A solid 70% possession rate, 90% successful passing rate, and winning two aerial battles is very intriguing for a young defensive midfielder like him.
Just a point above Trapp, and it was well deserved. The Brazilian defensive midfielder owned the midfield battle. Even got a couple of clean good looks at goal with two shots. Unsuccessful tackles did almost warrant a yellow card caution from referee Nima Saghafi, but Artur escaped with warnings. Had those been clean, he would have a good 7.2, maybe 7.3 rating.
Justin Meram: 8.0
The Man Of The Match put on a solid showing. With a total of two shots, Meram was able to score a beauty of a goal to give Columbus a 2-1 lead heading into halftime. Needless to say, he was the most visible player in the attacking third of the pitch, setting up crosses, and having the skill set to weave through the Toronto defenders. In just the seven games Crew SC has played, Meram has four goals and two assists to his name. The best start of his career.
Federico Higuain: 6.7
The Midfield Maestro didn’t do to well. Yeah, he was able to create plays and do his thing, but it wasn’t the spark that he usually has in matches. Higuain did get a good look on goal in the first half when a through ball from rookie Niko Hansen found the right foot of the Argentine midfielder, but the shot hit the outside of the net.
Niko Hansen: 7.1
The kid can do it all. Assist, score, playmaker; He’s the definition of a triple threat. To go from scoring the game winner goal in his MLS debut against Portland Timbers who were undefeated, to assisting the Ola Kamara goal to tie the game up with TFC, the kid is something that Crew SC need to hold on to. He saw a lot of action this weekend and he did not disappoint. He, along with Crognale, might have starting spot more often now.
Ola Kamara: 7.4
Ola Kamara is one of many strikers Columbus needs. Kamara was the focal point for this match against the Reds. He got the tying goal, and that was almost just the start of it. Ola was able to get shots off, but they were off target. However, he did have an impressive 70% successful passing rate. For a forward, that’s pretty good.
Overall Rating: 7.1
Columbus earns an overall rating of 7.1 for their come from behind performance to down Toronto FC. Great showing by all players involved, will definitely give them a good boost to take on the New York Red Bulls in their next match.