Good Chemistry: Four noticeable things from the Philadelphia Union-Columbus Crew game
While the Union traditionally play a 4-2-3-1, the tactical line-up seemed to waver between the 4-2-3-1 and a 3-5-2. Coach Jim Curtin has stressed in recent years that he would like his outside fullbacks, in this games case Fabinho and Keegan Rosenberry, to join in on the attack and to put crosses into the box. To ensure this strategy, Fabinho and Rosenberry were found to be almost equal in positioning to CDM’s Haris Medunjanin and Alejandro Bedoya. Medunjanin in his metronome role was found back with the center backs a lot.
In addition, David Accam also took on a very central attacking role with CJ Sapong at times. David Accam was like a second striker, Medunjanin a third center back, and Fabinho and Rosenberry were like the fourth and fifth midfielders to compensate.
Let the boys play:
Referee Nima Saghafi has a tendency to keep the cards in his pockets in the early stages of the game and then break them out a while later. During the course of the game, there were 29 fouls for both teams; seventeen of them in the second half alone.
It also wasn’t until the second half where the cards finally made appearances. From the 75th to 78th minutes where two yellow cards were issued, to Alejandro Bedoya and Federico Higuain. Keegan Rosenberry also got booked in the 88th minute. The game was a physical one with the fouls and there was only one minor injury in the game with Fabinho leaving the game at halftime due to a leg injury. The extent of the injury is unknown as of time of writing.
The back four:
The defense seemed to have a great game in terms of familiarity and chemistry. Homegrown player Auston Trusty was calm under pressure and played a fantastic game. Columbus has a potent attack of Gyasi Zardes, Federico Higuain, Pedro Santos, and Cristian Martinez among many others.
Trusty and partner Jack Elliot did a great job of keeping Zardes under wraps and when Zardes did get the chances, Trusty was always there to disrupt his rhythm of getting the shots off. Keegan Rosenberry seems to have snapped out of his sophomore slump and has played two straight solid games at right back to solidify his starting spot. With Fabinho’s injury, Ray Gaddis came on for the second half and did a solid job of acclimating into the game.
Borek Dockal looks like he completely recovered from his preseason ankle injury. He was involved right from the first whistle finding the open lanes and spreading out the ball. He seemed to have a good understanding with Haris Medunjanin about the roles in the midfield and how the team seems to move around the ball.
There were times during the game he was animate with disappointment when shots were off target or he wasn’t getting the ball. But these reactions seemed to be only about himself and not with his teammates.