Higuaín still effective despite Crew's struggles
Federico Higuaín's MLS debut couldn't have gone any better for the Argentine playmaker. Higuaín tallied three goals and six assists through his first five MLS matches, propeling the Crew to a 4-0-1 in that span.
The Black & Gold has struggled since those first five matches, losing three of its last four matches to put its playoff hopes in jeopardy. Despite Higuaín not scoring or assisting in the club's recent misfortunes, head coach Robert Warzycha feels the forward is still as effective on the team as he was on day one in a Crew uniform.
"[Higuaín] is still getting a lot of touches," Warzycha explained. "He was really effective, we just didn't score the goals. We had some chances, we had good possession, and for the long period of time Chicago defended well and we had some other looks, but obviously we didn't score. It was more bad luck than anything else."
"He's fitting pretty well, to be honest. We just have to be tighter defensively and not give up two goals a game," the Head Coach continued.
"We want to win as a team and we'll lose as a team," Higuaín said humbly through a translator. "I don't care about my performance, individually. I care about the team in-general."
Warzycha and Higuaín both feel that other than attracting more defenders, opposing teams haven't defended the Argentine any differently despite viewing more and more film on the playmaker. Higuaín has remained an important cog in the Crew attack, helping the team keep possession and stringing passes together with pinpoint precision in the final third to create more chances for those around him.
"I've been marked the same way from the first game [with the Crew] to the last game," Higuaín explained.
"I don't know if it's up to the opposing team to determine where [Higuaín] wants go. He's basically everywhere, to be honest. He's on the left, right, and in the middle," Warzycha said. "But obviously, defenders are paying more attention to him."
"His passing accuracy and movement on the ball has helped the others around him," the Crew skipper finished.
Higuaín and his teammates will need to rekindle the magic that spurred the Crew to the success it saw in August for its final four matches if it hopes to make the MLS Cup Playoffs for the fifth-straight season.
Higuaín put it simply, "I'm focused only on trying to win, make the playoffs, stay in the playoffs as long as possible, and win a championship."