With a short turnaround before Sunday's game at Dallas, I don't want to take too much time going over the Union's 2-1 loss to Columbus last night. But I will offer a few quick observations.
- Danny Califf was at fault on both goals. Steven Lenhart ran behind Califf on the Crew's first goal, then went right in front of him on the second. There wasn't much Chris Seitz could do about either play - he was actually positioned quite well on the first goal, and was simply stranded on the second.
- I didn't like the midfield combination of Kyle Nakazawa and Eduardo Coudet. I thought it was too defensive. Coudet pushed forward and distributed the ball much more often when Stefani Miglioranzi was on the field. When Miglioranzi came off with what he admitted after the game was a tweaked groin muscle, Coudet seemed to go into Miglioranzi's part of the field. He played a much more defensive role there.
Nakazawa was farther forward, and did not hold the ball or distribute it well from my perspective. As a result of his positioning, Nakazawa was often out on the flanks, where he wasn't as effective as he can be when in a central position. Perhaps it would have worked better had Coudet played in front of Nakazawa instead of the other way around.
- Peter Nowak admitted after the game that his team lacked "efficiency." It's a good word to sum up all those missed chances and half-chances, and passing sequences that didn't result in good shots.
"The story of the day - maybe not on the day, maybe even on the season - is that we need to be efficient," he said. "We need to be efficent, play the game simple and play the game effective. I think the efficiency part is still missing, and I will try to find a solution to that."
There was more.
"We've dominated game after game - it's like a broken record, it's like Groundhog Day.," he said. "I don't want to play the way teams that come here do - just defend, defend, defend. It was the same against Chicago in Chicago and the same with Toronto in Toronto and here. This is not our style - we're not going to do that, just hoping and praying that we're going to create one chance and score a goal."
You can listen to all of Nowak's remarks in the audio player below. I'll post the Rank and File ratings tonight. Then be sure to check back tomorrow for an update on the Independence as they get ready to host the Boston Breakers on Sunday evening in a game with huge playoff implications.
Have a great weekend.