Sunday, August 15, 2004



The Crew ran out a 0-0 draw in Los Angeles last night, making it seven straight league matches without a loss and retaining their hold on second place in the Eastern Conference. While no one should see a point gotten from the Galaxy as being a bad thing, the fact is we dominated the match and should have been able to get all three. The recap:

* BAD management all the way around! Andrulis must be given a S (for spineless) in how he managed this match. He started with ALL five midfielders being of a defensive nature (Paule being forced in this case to bring some creative spark to the center of the field), then subs too late while never changing the posture of the match (Cunningham for Buddle in the 78th, all while Martino is still on the field and these two are like oil-and-water; Den-TON for Wingert in the 90th in what looked like a sub based on ANOTHER twinge in the upper legs of the rookie; and Barclay for Martino IN THE 94TH MINUTE to make any different in the match). Apparently Big Greg feels getting SOMETHING out of every match is more important than trying to WIN games and develop positive momentum in a conference that can won but for one good run of wins.

* First XI still stud! I have said after previous matches that Andrulis' best work comes in crafting the starting lineup and we definitely had the better of play on the night deslpite not getting a goal nor looking particularly threatening to do so for most of the night. If we could have SOMEONE ELSE manage the match AFTER kickoff, then perhaps the Crew could put together the kind of run necessary to challenge LA, Kansas City, and the Metrostars for league supremacy this year.

* No spark. The past two matches with Sampson's revenge, we have had offensive forays of the sort unseen in Soccer Mecca since the days of Bake-and-Stern. Last night, it didn't happen for the same reason I harp on continually: we didn't start enough offense to do it. That would have been fine if we would have then been able to change that up in the second half, but again our gaffer is too worried about keeping his job to risk a loss for the sake of getting a win. The Galaxy kept pushing for the win and was slightly taking hold when Greg swapped man-for-man and tried to maintain the draw. That shows me a manager running scared.

A loss last night would not have been the end of the world, considering the other Eastern teams were not able to jump past us (DC/New England drew and Chicago lost to Colorado) even after their collective chase on Wednesday (all three won). But the boost a win would have given this team heading home for the Buck-a-Brat Hunt Derby against the Wizards on Wednesday would have been SO MUCH BETTER than treading water in the standings. Being 6-5-8 (26 points) with two games in hand at this point is a fine accomplishment after starting the season 0-3, but the constant strive for points-over-momentum and a philosophy built solely on getting a playoff spot is becoming unacceptable in a conference where any team can run away and hide (as Metro is close to doing). Greg, SAQ UP!

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