The View from Our Crew

D.C. No Match for Crew

COLUMBUS, OH - June 26, 2010 - The Columbus Crew (7-2-3) were able to defeat D.C. United 2-0 with a strong second half performance and goals from Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Eric Brunner. United (3-9-1) played well for the first forty-five minutes, but came under increased pressure in the second half.

Both teams had to shake off the rust from the World Cup break. Columbus had the advantage of just two injuries (Frankie Hejduk and Danny O'Rourke) and a 3-0 exhibition win over the PDL Dayton Dutch Lions. D.C. United was unbeaten in the last six matches, including a 3-2 defeat of Seattle Sounders FC on June 10. Unfortunately, United was still reeling from nine reported injuries. Their defense was particularly hard hit with four regulars out of action.

Photo Credit: Gary L. Moody Sr, International Soccer NetworkCrew Head Coach Robert Warzycha went with a 3-5-2 formation with Emilio Renteria taking up residence in the midfield. Renteria would be everywhere on the field, showing a good touch on the ball and creating space wherever he was. Adam Moffat moved to right back position shortly after kickoff, creating a more conventional 4-4-2 formation. He played well in an unfamiliar position.

The first half was all about opportunities and defenses that bent a little, but didn't break. United's best opportunity came off a miscue by Brunner in the 38th minute. His pass did not find its way to keeper Will Hesmer, but instead landed at the feet of United striker Adam Cristman. Hesmer moved forward to defend as Cristman looped a shot just over the bar.

Jason Garey would have the Crew's best chance for a score just four minutes later, but his shot was also high. Garey was setup by a series of crisp passes that put him in front of goal. Halftime would come with the score still tied up at 0-0. The consensus was that D.C. United owned the first half in terms of possession and scoring opportunities. D.C. Head Coach Curt Onalfo agreed, saying "For me we had clear-cut chances throughout the game, especially in the first half. We had three or four big-time chances."

United keeper Troy Perkins faced a barrage of goal line shots minutes into the second half, but was somehow able to keep the ball out of the goal. The Crew were clearly cooking up something big on the offensive end.

Guillermo Barros Schelotto put the Crew on top 1-0 with a controversial goal in the 57th minute. D.C. emotionally appealed for a handball, but referee Terry Vaughn would hear none of it. Reporters didn't get much of a comment from either coach when the issue was brought up at the post-game press conference. Onalfo avoided the issue, but did offer a brief comment that explained his frustration. "I don't want to comment on it because I don't want to be fined. I think you guys, everybody in the stadium saw it. But we are not a group that looks at those things."

The disputed goal was not only the only goal of the match, but it did turn the tide against United. "You will have some calls for and against," Warzycha commented. "That is going to even out at the end of the season."

The Crew would remain on the attack with Renteria and Garey often pushing forward. Steven Lenhart and Emmanuel Ekpo would enter in the 70th and 77th minutes respectively as Warczycha made fresh legs on the pitch a priority.

Pressure continued on both sides of the field, but it was Columbus who added another score with a goal by Eric Brunner, assisted by both Schelotto and Lenhart. The Brunner header in 87th put the nail in the coffin, but the Crew were given yet another opportunity in the 92nd minute.

A penalty kick was awarded to the Crew after Lenhart was tripped up in the box. An on the field decision put Lenhart on the spot, but his shot went right to Perkins. The match ended 2-0 advantage Crew, but it could easily have been 3-0.

The Crew return to action Tuesday, June 29th for a U.S. Open Cup match against the visiting Rochester Rhinos of the USSF D-II Pro League.

Game Photos

Columbus Crew Starting Lineup: GK William Hesmer, DEF Eric Brunner, DEF Chad Marshall, DEF Gino Padula, MID Emilio Renteria, MID Brian Carroll, MID Eddie Gaven, MID Adam Moffat, MID Robbie Rogers, FWD Jason Garey, FWD Guillermo Barros Schelotto (C)

D.C. United Starting Lineup: GK Troy Perkins (C), DEF Devon McTavish, DEF Dejan Jakovic, DEF Julius James, DEF Jordan Graye, MID Chris Pontius, MID Stephen King, MID Clyde Simms, MID Andy Najar, FWD Santino Quaranta, FWD Adam Cristman

Crew Falls to Colorado, 1-0, Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park

COMMERCE CITY, CO - June 5, 2010 - The Columbus Crew fell to the Colorado Rapids, 1-0, Saturday night at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, in the club's final match before the league-wide break for the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. In what was a battle between the second and third stingiest defenses in MLS, both sides struggled to create openings throughout the first half and much of the second. The first clear-cut chance of the night came in the 73rd minute, as the Crew poured forward in a counter-attack opportunity after Pablo Mastroeni passed loosely into the path of the Crew midfield. Eddie Gaven pushed forward and passed to Steven Lenhart, who then laid the pass off to an open Guillermo Barros Schelotto. However, the Argentine rushed his shot, pushing the scoring chance over the crossbar.

With five minutes remaining on the game, the Rapids would finally break the deadlock from a set piece. Jamie Smith took the free kick from near the midfield mark and sent in a high cross into the box for a diving Drew Moor. The defender struck the ball hard and into the ground, sneaking it in between the post and Columbus goalkeeper William Hesmer. The Crew will now enjoy a three-week break from MLS play, due to the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa on June 11.

The Black & Gold will next take to the field on June 26, when it hosts D.C. United at Crew Stadium. The match, which is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET, will be televised live regionally on ONN-TV.

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