who only a few had heard of before then. After being deemed expendable by a new regime, having played just 37 minutes with the club, Maxi found a new home in Portland where he played a supporting role in winning the 2015 MLS Cup. Now, having solidified himself as a star at FC Dallas, Maxi has found his groove and has earned the distinction of being named Total MLS Offensive Player of the Week for Week 3 after his 2 goal performance against the New England Revolution.
Just a few days removed from beating Pachuca in the CONCACAF Champions League Semi-Final first leg, FC Dallas welcomed the Revs to Toyota Stadium, and things did not get off on the right foot for the home side. After Lee Nguyen gave the visitors a 1-0 lead just 10 minutes in, Dallas struggled to find an equalizer. Enter Maxi.
A long ball from Maynor Figueroa stretched the play finding a streaking Michael Barrios who couldn’t bury it after beating the defender and going 1v1 with Revs keeper Cory Cropper. The ball deflected out, finding Maxi Urruti at the top of the 18, who after a clever little shimmy, slotted the ball home in the 71st minute to put Dallas level.
Just 6 minutes later, Urruti got his brace through a fantastic strike into the roof of the net from a tight angle, giving his side the lead and eventually securing all 3 points to jump into 2nd in the Western Conference.
The Columbus Crew haven’t exactly been playing a very inspiring brand of soccer to kick of the 2017 season. But slow and steady wins the race. Sprinkle in a homegrown defender by the name of Alex Crognale and you’ve got yourself a clean sheet against DC United and Total MLS’ Defensive Player of the Week.
It was a match that ended 2-0 in favour of the Crew through 2 penalty kick goals. But it may not have been so without the help of 22 year-old Ohio native Crognale. Standing at 6’5”, he is among the tallest players in the league, and he certainly imposed himself on Saturday afternoon at RFK Stadium.
Alex put on a defensive master class, compiling 11 clearances, 5 recoveries, and 18 successful passes, in addition to 3 key tackles including an impressive dispossession of Lloyd Sam, and 2 blocks. The future is bright for the Crew and they may just have found their replacement for Michael Parkhurst right at home.