Chivas USA wasn't able to stop the one-man show put on by Justin Meram, who scored a couple of second half goals helping the Columbus Crew to a 3-0 win over the Goats on Sunday. Without leading scorer Erick Torres, due to his international duty, CUSA remain at the bottom of the Western Conference, extending their winless streak to nine matches, with eight losses.
Once again, the Goats performed a good first half just to collapse in the second part of the game. There was little light and much shade, so to speak, in CUSA's display. On the bright side has to be the performance of newcomer Nigel Reo-Coker in the middle of the pitch.
Reo-Coker embraced well his role of holding midfielder protecting the back line, especially in the first half. He was tireless defensively, posting six tackles and one interception. But he also showed something on the other side of the game as he was efficient with his passes with a 85 percent of pass success, adding two accurate long balls and one accurate through ball.
He was arguably the Chivas USA's Man of the Match. Not bad for a player trying to make a comeback after spending most of the season prior to his arrival on the shelf.
NRC is a legit threat in the middle of the field as box-to-box player. I was impressed as Reo-Coker was reported to be on his career downward spiral. Instead, he proved to be a versatile player with some gas left in the tank. He energized a moribund Chivas USA's midfield and looked like a man playing alongside boys. Although no one was expecting goals from Reo-Coker, he showed to be capable to deliver some offensive threat pushing forward from his defensive position.
Overall, he seemed ready to definitively rebound from the bad stretch he lived in Vancouver. And playing at a lower-profile team could help him to restore his career. That said, I don't stress here a positive review of the much-discussed Mauro Rosales-NRC trade. It is just that, in the end, NRC is proving himself worthy to play in this admittedly poor side. CUSA are a better team with him around and NRC can become a driving force next season in the right environment.
The only thing is that NRC is came to this Chivas team too late and probably at too high a price.
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