Strange Night Ends in Win for Crew
Photos by Gary L. Moody Sr./ISNSoccer.com
COLUMBUS, OH - April 27, 2013 - The Columbus Crew came away with 3 points and a 3-0 victory over D.C. United on Saturday evening on what some would call a wild night.
The match was delayed 50 minutes by a scoreboard fire. That’s right a scoreboard fire. Sections in the southern part of the stadium were quickly evacuated as the Columbus Fire Department responded to the blaze, extinguishing it within minutes. I have to say it was a first for me, a scoreboard fire is not something you see everyday and thankfully so. No one was quite sure if something like this had ever happened before.
Crew President and General Manager Mark McCullers agreed.
“I’ve got to tell you that I don’t think there’s a page in our book that talks about scoreboard fires, but certainly fires in general are a part of our safety plan,” McCullers commented. “I’m really proud of our staff and the way they responded. They were calm, they were professional, and they were expert in what they did.”
The fire was the start of a crazy sequence of events, but it was a match that ended up very much in favor of the Crew. Columbus climbed the standings, the Crew attack was reinvigorated, and Andy Gruenebaum was simply stellar in goal when called upon.
The Crew made quick work of dispatching United on a night that D.C. would likely want to forget. Lady Luck abandoned the visitors; she was clearly a Crew fan on Saturday.
Dominic Oduro scored the first Columbus goal in just the 15th minute. Jairo Arrieta, who was an active part of every goal, and Eddie Gaven would get the assists on what could be best described as textbook finishing.
Josh Williams would turn a Federico Higuain corner into a Crew goal just 11 minutes later.
“I have to give all the credit to Pipa again,” Williams stated. “He puts them on a dangerous spot every time. I just reacted to the ball. I found myself in the right spot.”
Higuain would later get one of his own, converting a penalty kick in first half stoppage to give the Crew a 3-0 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.
That was all that the Black & Gold needed as they continued to fight United until the final whistle. D.C. had opportunities of their own, but everything that could go wrong, did. They had a goal waved early, several shots clanked off the post, and Gruenebaum smothered several other chances.
The win gives Columbus a full three points in the first of three consecutive home matches.
“We came out pretty strong and we talked about scoring the first goal and starting the game well and that’s what we did,” Crew head coach Robert Warzycha declared. “Guys actually did what we asked them to do. We played well in front of our home fans.”
The Crew are back in action next Saturday, May 4 against the New York Red Bulls in a match that will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network.
Subside Sports Man of the Match: Forward Jairo Arrieta, Columbus Crew
Josh Williams Audio (good for 90 days)
Robert Warzycha Audio (good for 90 days)
Mark McCullers Audio (good for 90 days)
D.C. United Fall to Crew
COLUMBUS, OH - April 27, 2013 - Both teams started the match "on fire" in Saturdays match between D.C. United and the Columbus Crew, and it had nothing to do with what was going on on the field.
A speaker malfunction sparked a fire in the Crew Stadium scoreboard before the match that delayed the opening kick for almost an hour. Columbus scored early and often and never allowed D.C. to feel comfortable, tallying three in the first 45 and winning 3-0 on the night.
Last place United traveled to Columbus desperately needing a win to turn their season around, but early defensive mishaps were enough to bury D.C. for the sixth time this season. Crew striker Jairo Arrieta took the ball from a poor header back to the keeper by D.C. and had his initial effort cleared by the United backline. The resulting ball fell to Eddie Gaven, whose cross was picked up by Arrieta and the Costa Rican put it to the boot of Dominic Oduro in the 15th minute.
11 minutes later Columbus doubled their advantage on a volley from defender Josh Williams. Keeper Bill Hamid got a hand to the ball, but it wasn't enough to redirect it clear of goal. A third came for Columbus in the 45th after defender Brandon McDonald fouled Jairo Arrieta in the area and captain Federico Higuain rocketed the penalty top shelf to send D.C. to the locker room down 3-0. Perry Kitchen had the closest chance for D.C. in the first half when his 23rd minute header found the back of the net but was waved off by the official. Midfielder Kyle Porter too had a close chance in the 32nd, but his long range blast cannoned off the woodwork and was cleared by Columbus. Only a few half chances were created in the second half and when the full time whistle blew the score remained at 3-0.
It was a weak performance all around by United, looking almost porous at times on defense and never creating enough chances to beat Andy Gruenebaum and put themselves in the game with a goal. With the loss D.C. remains in last place in the Eastern Conference, having only earned four points on the year through eight matches.
Next up United will head home to host the Houston Dynamo on May 8 at 7:00 p.m.
Columbus Crew Statement on Pre-Match Scoreboard Fire
COLUMBUS, OH - April 27, 2013 - Prior to the Major League Soccer match between the Columbus Crew and D.C. United on Saturday, April 27, the scoreboard on the south side of Crew Stadium caught fire. The Columbus Fire Department made an immediate response and promptly extinguished the small fire, and no injuries were reported during the delay. The match – originally scheduled for a 7:37 p.m. kickoff — was delayed by 50 minutes due to tonight’s events. No further information is available at this time on the cause of the fire, and the club is looking into the matter in conjunction with the appropriate authorities.
“At the moment, we had a fire in the speaker cabinet of the scoreboard. The Columbus Fire Department addressed the situation swiftly,” said Columbus Crew President and General Manager Mark McCullers. “They have the fire under control; in fact they have given us the all-clear to move forward with the game. We are working on some auxiliary sound at the moment and we are going forward with the match. Thankfully there were no injuries whatsoever thanks to our operations staff and the Columbus Fire Department. The safety of our fans, players and all attendees is always the top priority.”
Black & Gold Fall on the Road
CHICAGO, IL - April 20, 2013 - The Chicago Fire (2-4-1) defeated long-time Eastern Conference rivals Columbus Crew (2-2-3) Saturday evening at Toyota Park. Midfielder Jeff Larentowicz scored his first goal in a Fire shirt, tallying the only goal of the match in the 83rd minute to give the Fire the 1-0 victory.
In the fourth minute, Crew defender Tyson Wahl sent in a free kick from 40 yards out to Chad Marshall, who headed it down for Agustin Viana who slid the ball in to goal but the goal was called offside.
After a scoreless first half, the Fire started the second with renewed vigor. In the 55th minute, Patrick Nyarko won the ball on the midfield line, spun his defender and headed towards goal. The fleet-footed Ghanaian found Chris Rolfe at the top of the 18 but the Kettering, Ohio native’s left-footed shot went just wide.
In the 74th minute, Estonian international Joel Lindpere whipped in a corner kick that was headed out by Marshall. The clearance fell to Nyarko, who drove in a cross to a rising Austin Berry but his snap header was saved from crossing the line at the last second by Gruenebaum.
The Fire’s offensive pressure would pay dividends in the 83rd minute. Defender Jalil Anibaba sent a long throw to Berry, who flicked the ball on for Larentowicz at the top of the penalty box. The Philadelphia, Penn. product nodded the ball past Gruenebaum to give the Fire the 1-0 lead.
"It's not the end of the world," Crew defender Josh Williams stated. "This is a tough place to play. We have some games coming up at home. We figure some things out and sort out the possession area. Just keep battling hard and believing in each other."
Deep into stoppage time, the Crew won a free kick 40 yards form goal. Federico Higuain whipped in a free kick that found Chad Marshall, but his header went just wide of Sean Johnson’s goal.
Crew Earn Road Point
MONTREAL, QC - April 14, 2013 - The Columbus Crew (2-1-3, 9 points) fought back late to secure a 1-1 draw at the Eastern Conference-leading Montreal Impact (4-1-1, 13 points) at Stade Saputo Sunday afternoon.
For the second straight week, Crew forward Dominic Oduro equalized the game with a 72nd-minute strike – his team-leading third of the season – to preserve a point for the Crew after Marco Di Vaio’s powerful blast gave Montreal the lead in the 68th minute.
"We all went back to the table, wrote a plan and executed it, which is what we are supposed to do every week," Oduro commented. "We have fantastic coaches and the players were in sync and I thought we did well on that, so we’re just going to keep our heads up."
The draw moves the Crew’s unbeaten streak to four games (1-0-3) dating back to March 16 against San Jose. Able to secure another crucial point on the road, the Crew also remains perfect in the Eastern Conference (1-0-2).
The Black & Gold remain on the road next weekend for another clash in the East as they travel to face the Chicago Fire on Saturday, April 20 at Toyota Park at 8:30 p.m. ET (FOX Sports Ohio).
Late Crew Goal Saves Point Against Philadelphia
Photos: Kevin Cross/ISNSoccer.com
COLUMBUS, OH - April 6, 2013 - Despite a slow early start, plagued with poor effort and missed chances, the Columbus Crew managed to pull out a late 1-1 draw against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, extending their home point streak to 11 games without a loss.
In the 72nd minute Eddie Gaven found a streaking Dominic Oduro, who found the back of the net with a rocket from an impossibly tight angle to earn a point for Columbus.
Gaven’s assist helped put the Crew ahead, but the midfielder wished the first half had gone a little differently.
“We didn’t play very well during that first half and we all knew it,” Gaven said. “There were some things that we definitely had to change and I think we did.”
An 82nd minute header by Josh Williams came tantalizingly close to breaking the tie, but glanced off the crossbar and neither team could find the go-ahead goal before the final whistle blew.
The draw gives the Crew eight points on the season and leaves them in fourth place in the East.
Defender Chad Marshall celebrated his 20,000th minute in Major League Soccer despite a lackluster first half from the Columbus defense.
In the 34th minute Danny Cruz beat the offside trap for Philadelphia and crossed the ball to Jack McInerney, who capitalized on an open net and gave the Union a 1-0 lead.
A halftime substitution of Jairo Arrieta, coming on for Agustin Viana, provided the spark that Columbus used to find the equalizer.
Crew head coach Robert Warzycha was disappointed with his team’s initial effort, but thought the squad came out with more intensity in the second half.
“I think it’s difficult to explain why we started the game like we started,” Warzycha said. “The second half we changed the formation a little bit, but more than anything we had more energy.”
The speedy runs of the Union seemed to be too much for the backline of the Crew, who were caught out of place on multiple occasions by Philadelphia in the first half.
“I think we were trying to push for the goal,” Warzycha said. “The final pass wasn’t there and they were able to counterattack us.”
It was the first time that Philadelphia has taken a point away from Crew Stadium, with the Crew’s record at 3-0-0 before the match.
Next up the Crew hit the road to take on first place Montreal on April 13th at 2 p.m.