Sunday, March 10, 2013

Instant Analysis: Vancouver vs Columbus

Article by Anders Aarhus

This was a Banner Game for MLS

This was two of the exciting, young teams in the league going head-to-head and ‘Caps-Crew had it all: the speed and athleticism that make MLS great, excellent technical skill from both sides, young, exciting players and a stunning goal. Action was back and forth while stars showed up for both teams. Federico Higuain was disappointing, but Jairo Arrieta, Kenny Miller, Daigo Kobayashi and Nigel Reo-Coker all came to play. If you’re tying to convert a friend to an MLS fan, sit them down and have them watch this match. 

Kenny Miller’s Impressive Performance

Kenny Miller gave everyone a reminder of why Vancouver made him a DP signing last year. Pushed into a higher role, the Scot got himself into good potions and looked dangerous throughout the game. He did miss a pair of chances to put the ‘Caps ahead in the first half, but his … minute winner ensured his narrative on the day would be a positive one. The goal came as the result of selfless running and a great work rate, closing down a Crew defender to create a turnover before the clinical finish. Miller will need to turn in more high-level performances to hold off talented rookies Kekuta Manneh and Erik Hurtado.

Federico Higuain’s Quiet Night

We’ve come to expect impressive performances from the Argentine playmaker, but Higuain struggled to make an impact against Vancouver. His set-piece delivery was sharp in the first half, but he faded as the game progressed. The ‘Caps’ midfield trio of Reo-Coker, Gershon Koffie and Jun Marques Davidson outnumbered the Crew in the middle, limiting space and pushing Higuain into wide positions where he was less effective. As the game went on, the Crew playmaker dropped deeper and deeper to get on the ball, which took him father away from goal.