Back on Track?
COLUMBUS, OH - April 25, 2009 - The Crew looked to put their troubles behind them with a solid performance against the visiting Chicago Fire. Many of the 16,628 fans were hoping that this might be the case. The Crew started aggressively, spending a great deal of the time on Chicago's end of the pitch. Columbus was able to earn 4 corner kicks in the first 15 minutes alone, but those did not translate into goals. Former Crew keeper Jon Busch responded well to the pressure. However, Chad Marshall, assisted by Guillermo Barros Schelotto, was able to get through in the 25th minute. This assertive style of play might be the answer to the Crew's sluggish start.
The assault continued with an Alejandro Moreno goal in the 34th minute. Moreno took advantage of a mistake by Busch, wheeling around defenders to score. The continued effort by Moreno was quite a sight to see; he truly deserved to score. The half ended with consecutive corner kicks from the Fire, but no change in score. The Crew had to be pleased with their performance in the first half of play.
All of the good will and hope went "out the door" after halftime. A questionable red card for defender Gino Padula in the 57th minute turned the momentum against the Crew. Chicago was energized by the penalty and looked to take advantage of an undermanned Crew. In particular, Cuauhtemoc Blanco rebounded from an ineffective first half and looked true to form in the last forty-five minutes.
Columbus relied on solid defense and an adult game of "keep away" to manage the Chicago offense. All of that effort was not enough. Disaster struck in the 86th and 88th minutes with goals by Chicago's Brian McBride and Gonzalo Segares, respectively. Victory was so close, but still out of reach for the Crew. "The red card changed the game" was a common theme echoed by the coaches in the post-game interviews.
The home crowd, which was hostile to Blanco in particular, came to life during the match. No matter how hard they tried the crowd could not deliver a win and three points for Columbus. The disappointment of another draw was clearly evident for the fans and players alike.
The Crew must find a way to get back to championship form and out of the bottom of the standings. Columbus, who has had its share of injuries and bad luck, must put their ideas into action soon in order to turn the season around.
The Crew look to put an end to their winless streak as they face Toronto FC in the second leg of the Trillium Cup on May 2. Columbus will face a lively crowd at BMO Field as enthusistic fans fill the stadium to capacity for this important rivalry game.
Crew Falls to Chivas 2-1 at Home Depot
CARSON, CA - April 5, 2009 - After a bright opening 45 minutes of play that saw defender Andy Iro score his second career goal, the Columbus Crew went a man down and ultimately fell to Chivas USA, 2-1, at the Home Depot Center on Sunday.
The Crew played a cagey match against the home side, relying on the strong play and leadership of Guillermo Barros Schelotto. After going down 1-0 in the 25th minute to an Atiba Harris goal, Columbus rallied to even the score at 1-1 in the 37th minute when Iro knocked a cross from Emmanuel Ekpo past Chivas 'keeper Zach Thornton.
Eduardo Lillingston put Chivas ahead after the break, then Iro was called for a straight red card in the 54th minute for a tackle on Chivas USA's Carey Talley, leaving the Crew down a man down. Columbus battled valiantly, but was unable to score an equalizer.
The Crew nearly did get the tying goal in the 66th minute when Gaven broke free on the right flank and sent a line drive across the six-yard box. Schelotto slipped his defender and got onto the end of it, but sent a low header just wide of the Chivas USA net.
Crew Falls to RSL at Rio Tinto
SANDY, UT - April 2, 2009 - A Robbie Findley hat trick paced Real Salt Lake to a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Crew on Thursday night at Rio Tinto Stadium, ending the defending MLS Cup champions' unbeaten streak at seven games (4-0-3), including playoffs.
Findley scored two goals before the game was a half-hour old, and added a third midway through the second half. Kyle Beckerman also scored for RSL; the lone Crew goal came from Jason Garey and gave the Crew a short-lived equalizer.
Garey's goal - the 10th of his MLS career - came in the 22nd minute, as a cross by Gino Padula fell inside the Salt Lake area. Clint Mathis attempted to clear the ball from danger, but his clearance wound up at the feet of Garey. RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando scrambled to cover, but Garey calmly slotted the ball inside the near post to level the match.
Crew Re-Signs Kevin Burns to a Developmental Contract
COLUMBUS, OH - April 2, 2009 - The MLS Cup-champion Columbus Crew announced today that it has re-signed midfielder Kevin Burns to a developmental contract. Per club and league policy, no further terms of the deal were disclosed.
Burns was originally selected by the Crew in the fourth round (No. 50 overall) of the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft out of the University of Connecticut. He spent the 2007 season with the Rochester Raging Rhinos of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, where he made 17 appearances for the Rhinos and was named the club’s Rookie of the Year. Burns was forced to sit out the entire 2008 MLS season after suffering a right ankle injury during preseason training with the Crew.
"We are pleased to get Kevin signed this year. He was a player who we thought had good potential last year, but unfortunately he was injured early on and was unable to contribute,” said technical director Brian Bliss. “We expect him to pick up where he left off last year and help us solidify our central midfield. He is a smart player who reads the game well and can distribute the ball well over distance.”
Burns moves into the roster spot previously occupied by goalkeeper Kenny Schoeni, who has been waived. Schoeni did not appear in a regular-season match during his lone season in Columbus. He made five appearances, four of them starts, with a 0.80 goals-against average and two shutouts for the Black & Gold in the 2008 MLS Reserve Division.