Tag Archives: Joe Bendik

Columbus Crew: Let us invite you…

Official Columbus Crew Reporter

By Hilary // @hils4crew

On Saturday night, the Columbus Crew took on the Philadelphia Union.  Both teams had players missing.  The Crew rolled out their similar formation. 

Hector Jimenez was playing for left back in place of Waylon Francis.  Patrick Mullins was in at forward.  Ricardo Clark played in Wil Trapp’s spot, and Robinho played on the wing for Justin Meram.  Also, Joe Bendik was playing for the injured Zack Steffen in goal.  

While I knew these were not typical starters for the team, I wasn’t too nervous going into the match as most of these guys are experienced MLS players.  Last season, outside of Robinho and Bendik who weren’t on the team, these guys played frequently in the weeks where we had multiple games in a short time frame.  

The start of the game validated my lack of worry as the team seemed to come out on the attack. 

However, that soon changed.  It seems the Crew sent an embossed invitation to David Accam to score goals.  Multiple goals.  

In the 31’, David Accam snuck behind the defenders on a great run and banged it into the goal off the post after a give away from the Crew that the Union brought down the field.  

Then, in the 41’, Gaston Sauro tried to stop Accam.  Then, Mensah and Afful tried unsuccessfully to stop Accam who slotted in a goal near post past Bendik.  

Finally, in the 48’, David Accam took a break from scoring and decided to assist instead.  He knocked down a bouncing ball and got it to Ilsinho who hit it off the crossbar into the goal.  

Philadelphia ended the game with a win 3-0.  

Other thoughts:

I can’t really find anything positive to say about the Crew’s performance Saturday.  I am nervous about not having Zack Steffen, and this game turned the fear up many notches.  However, other than the second goal, which I think Bendik could have done more on, I feel most of the blame lays at the defense’s feet

Is this because Bendik isn’t good about communicating to his line and Zack is?  Is this due to the fact that the defense just had a really bad game?  I’m not sure, but whatever it is, the Crew have until June to figure it out.

I’m concerned about the number of giveaways and bad passes I felt the Crew had.  This needs to be better

Finally, you saw Caleb Porter sub in Luis Argudo, Eduardo Sosa, and Jerome Williams after Philadelphia’s third goal.  This could be due to wanting to keep some starters from getting hurt or seeing if a younger player would be hungrier to get a goal and make a difference on the pitch.  It was nice to see the young guys on the pitch despite them not making a splash in the score line.  

The Crew return home this Saturday to play defending MLS Cup winners Atlanta United.  Hopefully, they can try to remedy some of the wrongs from this game to play a better game at home.

Featured image: @ColumbusCrewSC

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @hils4crew

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Let’s catch up on Orlando City

Shae Beaudoin - Orlando City SC/mlsfemale
Official Orlando City Reporter

By Shae Beaudoin // @ShaeEliz

It’s been a few weeks with the new Orlando City head coach James O’Connor and I’ve been moderately quiet. I wanted to wait and observe before I gave my opinion on him. I’m not the type to see new coaches and give them one game to prove themselves. So I’ve waited it out a few games and now it’s time to get you guys all caught up.

First and most importantly, midfielder Yoshimar Yotún has returned to us after his appearance in the 2018 FIFA World Cup for the Peruvian National team. He was certainly missed and at least for our July 14th win over Toronto FC, I thought the suffering was over and we’d finally start winning again. As per our record since, this was absolutely not the case.

Captain Jonathan Spector has been back off the lineup due to more injuries. Do you guys believe me yet that our captain slot is cursed? We barely saw Kaká last season, we’ve barely seen Spector this season. Maybe we just need to not name captains from now on.

Perhaps the boldest move O’Connor has made since he joined our ranks is benching goalkeeper Joe Bendik. Orlando City signed Bendik back in 2016 and he’s been our starting goalkeeper in pretty much every game since, with the exception of a few Open Cup matches. It’s a spot he rightfully earned. Bendik has saved us from so many potentially devastating matches and was frequently featured on MLS for the Save of the Week.

This season, however, Bendik’s been really off his mark. He has a really bad habit of coming too far out of his box and without a strong enough defense to fill in behind him. That is, except when Spector’s on the field. The synergy there allowed Bendik to stretch a little more while still keeping the goal covered by the defense. Besides that, Bendik’s just allowed some pretty sloppy goals and this season we’ve seen some of our worst defeats ever as a result.

While I think O’Connor’s move to bench Bendik the last few games was bold, I applaud him for it. It was certainly a needed change. Our substitute keeper, Earl Edwards Jr., has been filling his spot and even though we’ve been taking some more Ls, I still think the change was a good one.

Of course, we can’t put all the blame on the goalkeeper. After all, it’s a team effort. Our defense is in a really weak spot right now, Once again, I have to chalk this up to the lack of depth former head coach Jason Kreis created in our 2017-2018 offseason. We lost so many defenders and instead of replacing them, we signed more midfielders. This created the lack of depth for our back line. We’ve got 3, maybe 4, defensive subs on a good day. So how many do we have when we’ve got 2 defensemen out on injury (as we have consistently had all season)?

In all, I think O’Connor is doing the best he can with what he was handed. There are tons of fans already complaining about him and saying he’ll be fired but I think that’s a little extreme. The man was handed a rock and told to turn it into a diamond. Give him some time to figure it out and keep in mind, he’s dealing with the roster we built without him. I’m not saying the roster’s in a bad place. We certainly have a lot of talent on our list, but sometimes that talent just doesn’t play nicely together.

I’m gonna be honest here, friends. You know I’m #CityTilIDie, but I don’t have too much hope in turning this season around. For now, I’m just going to watch the games and enjoy some soccer. I’ll start dreaming about playoffs in 2019. What about you?

Featured image: @OrlandoCitySC

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @ShaeEliz

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