The View from Our Crew

Andrews McMeel Publishing

Kamara Leads SKC Past Crew

KANSAS CITY, KS - June 29, 2013 - The Columbus Crew (5-7-5, 20 points) scored a pair of goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half but an 80th-minute goal from Kei Kamara – his second of the match – gave Sporting Kansas City (7-5-5, 26 points) the 3-2 win at Sporting Park on Saturday night.

Kamara opened the scoring in the 34th minute to give the home side a lead at the half. In a back-and-forth 10 minutes to begin the second half, Jairo Arrieta leveled the match at 1 in the 48th minute before Claudio Bieler gave Sporting the lead once more in the 50th minute. Three minutes later, Dominic Oduro scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season on an unassisted tally to equalize. Kamara’s second goal in the 80th minute would be the final scoring action of the evening.

The Crew travels to Los Angeles on Sunday ahead of an Independence Day match against the LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center on Thursday, July 4 (10:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio).

The View from Our Crew - Duka and Oduro Clash

The Crew suffered their third home defeat of the season and at hands of Chicago with the players involved in the trade between the two clubs playing center stage.

Dominic Oduro came to Columbus in the trade and he’s been making a big impact so far this season. Tonight he continued in the center forward role despite the return of Jairo Arrieta from international duty and this paid dividends for the Crew.

On 6 minutes Oduro robbed Austin Berry of possession and raced clear on goal, but was brought down by the onrushing Sean Johnson in Chicago’s goal. He survived with only a yellow, but could do nothing about the resulting penalty that Federico Higuain dispatched low into the bottom left corner.

Columbus were playing some nice soccer in the first half with Matias Sanchez, Bernardo Anor, and Higuain combining well with quick passing carving up the Fire and Oduro's pace causing their defense all sorts of problems.

The Crew started the second half slowly and were made to pay for it in the 51st minute by Dilly Duka, who left Columbus for Chicago in that trade. Joel Lindpere whipped in a cross from the left and Josh Williams did not pickup Duka’s run and he finished at the far post.

Unfortunately for the Crew, this goal did nothing to wake them up and the Fire’s second came in near identical fashion to the first. Lindpere again crossed from the left and the three Crew defenders were unable to pick up Mike Magee, who got the better of Williams to chest the ball into the net.

Columbus was struggling to stay in the game as more chances came for Chicago, but a couple of fine saves from Andy Gruenebaum kept them in the game. The response finally came from Columbus with Higuain the catalyst launching a 25 yard shot that was well saved by Johnson in the Fire goal. The crowed finally thought they had equalized in the 82nd minute when an Anor volley hit the outside of the post after neat interplay with Higuain.

The feeling at the end of this game is all too familiar for the Crew fans, in patches throughout the game they play some nice soccer, but when things go against them they struggle to find their composure to get back in these games. They are also struggling with their substitutions, with both Meram and Schoenfeld being regular introductions when they are losing, but neither has made a meaningful impact this season.

Crew Fall to Fire

COLUMBUS, OH - June 22, 2013 - Despite a strong first-half performance that saw the Black & Gold jump out to a 1-0 lead just seven minutes into the match, the Columbus Crew (5-6-5, 20 points) fell to Eastern Conference rival Chicago Fire (5-7-3, 18 points) on Saturday night at Crew Stadium.

"Sometimes the fortune is not going right," Crew head Robert Warzycha stated. "We were so successful for so many years winning the games at home. We have to build our fortress again. We have to make sure we don't lose the game here."

The 19,624 fans in the building surpassed last week’s season-high attendance mark, with the Crew unable to put together back-to-back wins following a June 15 win over Eastern Conference-leading Montreal.

The Fire completed a second-half comeback behind goals from former Crew midfielder Dilly Duka and forward Mike Magee. The goals were two minutes apart, with Duka striking in the 52nd minute and Magee in the 54th. Chicago’s Joel Lindpere assisted on both strikes with service from the left wing. Former Fire striker Dominic Oduro kick-started the Crew attack just six minutes into the contest, earning a penalty after being fouled inside Chicago’s area by goalkeeper Sean Johnson. Captain Federico Higuain converted the penalty – his fifth strike of the season – but it was not enough to capture a win.

"We kind of dropped off after we scored and you can’t let that happen," Crew defender Tyson Wahl commented. "I think at home we have to keep pushing and go for the second goal and I think it came down to a couple plays in the second half and we just weren’t good enough in those plays."

The Crew regroups this week before heading on the road once more for a two-match swing at Sporting Kansas City on June 29 and at Los Angeles on July 4.

The View from Our Crew: Oduro in Fine Form

Photos by Kevin Cross/ISNSoccer.com

Photo Credit: Kevin Cross/ISNSoccer.comWith Jairo Arrieta away on international duty with Costa Rica, Dominic Oduro has been given the opportunity to play a more central role in the attack for Columbus. This is not unfamiliar.  In games that Columbus has been chasing, Oduro got pushed through the center, but tonight he got to play a full 90 minutes and he delivered a performance that should worry Arrieta.

Throughout his career in MLS, Oduro has maintained a keen eye for goal with a record of a goal every four games. This season though he’s coming alive around the penalty area, achieving a goal every over game, the target ratio for a quality striker.  This is particularly impressive considering he has been playing in a wide midfield role for the majority of the season.

Tonight he was a constant threat with his willingness to use his pace and run by the opposition's defenders and his ability to hold up the ball up, something that the Crew has been missing this season. He capped off his fine display tonight with a coolly taken goal after pressuring Warner into giving up possession. He raced clear and calmly side footed the ball past the onrushing Perkins. Oduro did fade as the game went on, but this was to be expected playing his second full 90 minutes in three days.

Match Photos

Crew Make Huge Impact with Win over Montreal

Photos by Kevin Cross/ISNSoccer.com

COLUMBUS, OH - June 15, 2013 - It’s hard to imagine a team facing a must-win scenario with more than half of their games remaining, but on Saturday night against the Montreal Impact that is exactly what the Columbus Crew did.

After dropping points in four of their last five matches and falling five points off the pace for the fifth and final playoff position, the Crew needed to pull off an upset against first place Montreal if they hoped to keep their playoff goal alive.
And they achieved just that.

The Columbus players came out with perhaps their most impactful 90 minutes of soccer and walked away with a 2-0 victory.

In front of a raucous crowd the Crew dominated the opening proceedings and didn’t wait long to open the scoring with Matias Sanchez finding the back of the net in just the sixth minute.

The goal came when Dominic Oduro was fouled on a pass to Sanchez near the top of the box, but the official played advantage for the Crew. Sanchez’ shot deflected off Impact defender Jeb Brovsky and caught the keeper diving the wrong way to give Columbus the 1-0 lead.

It was the first goal as a member of the Crew for Sanchez who joined the team in the offseason from Argentinian side Estudiantes.

Oduro was the provider of the second score for Columbus in the 22nd minute when he dispossessed an indecisive Collen Warner in the midfield and used his speed to break away from the charging defenders. With just the keeper to beat the Ghanaian striker slotted the ball into the goal to give Columbus a two-goal lead.

The Crew has been plagued by injuries yet again this season with both Eddie Gaven and now Glauber out for the year; a few changes were made to the starting 11.

Josh Williams moved into central defense and the return of Chad Marshall anchored a solid defensive performance despite the loss of Glauber.

Next up Columbus will host eighth place Chicago Saturday at 8 at Crew Stadium.

Subside Sports Man of the Match: Dominic Oduro, Columbus Crew

Moved up top for the match as a replacement for Jairo Arrieta (who is away on international duty with Costa Rica), the Ghanaian was the most impressive player on the pitch for the 90 minutes. His speedy runs helped him set up a goal and score another, not to mention the numerous chances that were just off target on the night. His ability to push the pace, as well as beat defenders to Higuain crosses made the difference for the Crew, who desperately needed the win.

Match Photos

Crews Exits the Open Cup

BRIDGEVIEW, IL - June 13, 2013 - The Columbus Crew suffered a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on Thursday afternoon in the Fourth Round of the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

The match – originally scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. ET start on June 12 – was postponed until this afternoon due to yesterday’s severe weather conditions in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Konrad Warzycha gave the Black & Gold the early lead in the 22nd-minute on a header off of a Ben Speas free kick. Chicago’s Mike Magee answered just six minutes later on a pass from Gonzalo Segares. The Fire would take the lead for good in the 78th-minute on Patrick Nyarko’s goal from Chris Rolfe in the fourth-ever meeting between the two clubs in the tournament named after the Crew’s founder, dating back to 1998.

The Crew resumes MLS action when the club hosts the Eastern Conference-leading Montreal Impact on Saturday, June 15 at Crew Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET / Univision Deportes Network, FOX Sports Ohio).

Carroll and Union Defeat Crew at PPL Park

CHESTER, PA - June 5, 2013 - The Columbus Crew (4-5-5, 17 points) suffered a 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union (6-5-4, 22 points) at PPL Park on Wednesday night.

All of the match’s scoring came in the first-half of action as the Union found tallies from Brian Carroll (25th minute), Sheanon Williams (29th minute) and Conor Casey (31st minute). The loss snapped the Crew’s three-match unbeaten streak (1-0-2) that dated back to May 18 at Toronto.

“That was really lethargic performance especially in the first half,” Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha stated. “I think the first goal was a joke and then we couldn’t do anything more.”

After concluding a stretch of four matches in 11 days, the Black & Gold have an off weekend before returning to Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round action at the Chicago Fire on Wednesday, June 12 at Toyota Park (8:30 p.m. ET). The Crew resumes MLS action when the club hosts the Montreal Impact on Saturday, June 15 at Crew Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET / Univision Deportes Network, FOX Sports Ohio).

The View from Our Crew - Arrieta's Form in Front of Goal

COLUMBUS, OH - June 1, 2013 - Jairo Arrieta's woes in front of goal continued tonight as another 90 minutes went by without a goal. He now has 1 goal in 11 games this season with his last goal coming nearly 3 months ago on March 9th against Vancouver. He finished last season in tremendous form, ending with a goal every other game, 9 scores in 18 games.

Watching him tonight he seems to be doing the same things as last season, sitting on the shoulder of the last defender and making the runs in behind the defense. Though it’s the final shot that is the difference this season, going a couple of inches the wrong side of the post.

With the Crew only playing one upfront, then a change will be required if Arrieta does not start scoring very soon. A formation change could have a positive effect, possible pushing Higuain further up the pitch to give the opposition defenders more to think about and giving Arrieta more space. The other alternative would be to bench him, but looking at the reserves there does not seem anyone that could come in do a better job.

Columbus has drawn 5 games this season and 3 of their 4 loses were only by a goal. This highlights that Arrieta's form in front of goal is having a big effect on the Crew's season. If he had chipped in with a few more goals then Columbus would be well into the playoff positions.

Crew Earn 1-1 Draw with Houston

COLUMBUS, OH - June 1, 2013 - The entire Columbus Crew organization has finally breathed a sigh of relief.

Federico Higuain’s 69th minute penalty conversion against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday ended a home MLS goalless streak for Columbus that lasted 294 minutes and spanned four matches. The 1-1 draw was also the first time that Columbus has earned a point at home since late April against D.C. United.

The penalty came when Dynamo striker Andrew Driver took down Crew left back Chad Barson in the area after an extended period of pressure from Columbus. The captain, Higuain, caught Hall moving early and buried the ball in the back of the net for the equalizer.

The Argentinian almost earned his team the victory when his 74th minute shot from 20 yards ricocheted off the post and midfielder Justin Meram missed the open net on the rebound.

Overall it was a disappointing match offensively for Columbus, who continued their troubling pattern of being unable to finish chances despite being dominant on the offensive end of the pitch.

Despite registering four shots on goal in the first half to Houston’s one the Crew found themselves down 1-0 heading into the dressing rooms.

Houston’s goal seemingly came from nothing in the 31st when defender Kofi Sarkodie beat Columbus down the right and played a cross in to Warren Creavalle, who made a wonderful touch to beat Gruenebaum for the opening goal.

Columbus has been consistently poor at home this season, only earning six points in six matches at Crew Stadium this season. Still the Crew remains close to the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, their 17 points just two back of the Philadelphia Union.

Eddie Gaven’s absence after his midweek injury against the Dayton Dutch Lions was noticed, with Justin Meram struggling to consistently make the offensive impact that the Crew’s bearded midfielder often made.

Subside Sports Man of the Match: Federico Higuain, Columbus Crew

On an overall poor night by the Columbus midfield, Higuain reminded us why he is Columbus’ best player. His play in the midfield kept the ball in the Crew’s attacking half for a majority of the night and he displayed his usual skill delivering set pieces. His goal was the most important moment of the match for Columbus, earning them the point, and he almost earned the squad all three points on multiple occasions. Honorable mention goes to Jairo Arrieta who was outstanding coming back from international duty and was consistently threatening up front.

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