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Cropper stock up, Watson stock down in Revolution loss to Crew SC

Who stood out during the week 10 defeat?

MLS: New England Revolution at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

In week nine, the Revolution erupted for three goals in 54 minutes during a 3-3 draw with the Seattle Sounders. But on Saturday, the Revs failed to find its scoring touch, suffering a 2-0 loss at the hands of Columbus Crew SC.

Here’s who stood out, and who didn’t, during the week 10 defeat:

Stock up

Cody Cropper

Credit Cropper for hanging tough during a disappointing performance by the 10 men in front of him. The former MK Dons goalkeeper made a handful of memorable stops, including a near-post, fingertip save on a deflection that nearly beat him. Couple these saves with strong distribution and smart decision making, and Cropper put forth a quietly-effective shift in Columbus.

Stock down

Juan Agudelo

A week removed from a two-goal outing against the Sounders, Agudelo worked hard against Crew SC, creating a pair of goal-scoring chances while claiming a handful of aerial wins. But in the end, Agudelo struggled to turn his hard work into tangible results. He looked a step off his usual pace moving forward, failed to put any of his shots on frame and couldn’t seem to unlock the attack with the strong hold-up play he offered a week ago.

There’s no reason to worry about Agudelo; the 24-year-old forward has earned his stripes this season. But after turning in one of his best performances in a Revolution uniform last week, Agudelo took a step back against Crew SC.

Je-Vaughn Watson

In theory, the decision to insert Watson into Saturday’s match made sense. The move pushed Kelyn Rowe, who has assisted 33 goals in his Revolution career, into a more natural midfield position as Watson took over at left back.

But the decision didn’t work out. Shortly into his shift, Watson wrapped his arm around Niko Hansen’s neck as part of a reckless challenge. The Revolution defender could have seen red, though referee Mark Geiger flashed yellow instead.

The challenge wasn’t Watson’s first incident of the season. The MLS veteran has gotten off to an erratic start, highlighted by week-seven red card against the Chicago Fire. Watson will need to find his form fast or Jay Heaps will begin looking elsewhere for spot starts and late-match subs.

Daigo Kobayashi

The veteran midfielder didn’t make any glaring mistakes against Crew SC; he simply struggled to make his presence known. Starting out wide in the midfield diamond, Kobayashi took just 24 touches, far and away a match low among starters.

Surprisingly, even his passing lacked its usual sharpness. That’s not a trend that’s likely to continue, as Kobayashi has connected on 85 percent of his passes while playing for the Revolution, best among midfielders not named Scott Caldwell.

Still, Koabayshi endured an off day against Crew SC, as evidenced by his exit from the match in the 56th minute. Assuming Kei Kamara returns for next week’s meeting with Real Salt Lake, Daigo will likely return to the bench.