Where Nesta can be beaten, and Montreal is vulnerable


Montreal center back Alessandro Nesta is a joy to watch. His positioning in relation to attackers and composure on the ball are exactly what you’d expect from man with 78 caps in a country where they revere defense almost as much as strong coffee or pasta.

The man is the Keith Smooth of soccer.

On the other hand, he is 36.

(MORE: The full highlight pack from Columbus’ 2-1 win)

Drag him away from the center and leave him with a little space to defend, in a one-on-one situation, and he can be exposed. Watch him defending Federico Higuain for the late Saturday against Columbus. Watch how he gets spun and this cannot get close enough to the Crew DP to properly challenge the cross. (In fact, it’s a pretty half-hearted efforted to defend the cross.)

Nesta was having some cramping problems earlier in the match; perhaps that had something to do with it, as well.