I have had a love/hate fan relationship with the Columbus Crew's Robbie Rogers. At times I have been completely frustrated with his play, expecting more of an effort, better finishing, better final passes.
But after Robbie's performance in the Crew's 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union last night, I can now declare myself a Robbie Rogers fan.
Robbie assisted on the Crew's first goal with a nice cross into Emilio Renteria. Later in the match Rogers forced a handball in the box by Philly defender Sheanon Williams that was converted for a goal by Andres Mendoza.
It was obvious in the first half that the Union were not going to let the ball get to Rogers playing left midfield for the Crew. They overloaded their midfield on his side of the field, which allowed the Crew to work the ball up the right side. Early in the match, The Crew did have one very good opportunity in the from the right, a Justin Meram cross that Rogers almost converted for a goal.
Once the Crew figured out how to get Rogers the ball with space on the left, they became very dangerous. He had one shot he fired high, and then later in the first half made the cross that resulted in the Crew's first goal of the night.
Robbie Rogers is showing that he is one of the best midfielders in MLS and is playing up to the potential we all new he had. He's also pretty interesting on twitter. @robbierogers
The Crew now have a 5 point lead over the Houston Dynamo for first place in the MLS Eastern Conference.
This team gets better and better as the season continues. Michael Arace posted a great commentary this morning on the Columbus Dispatch's website regarding the Crew and their success this year. I love the last line, "Open your window and sniff. Is that a trace of Massive in the air?"
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