The View from Our Crew

Unfortunate Gaffe by Padula Leaves Crew with a 1-1 Draw

COLUMBUS, OH - March 28, 2010 - The Crew were engaged in an epic battle once again with rival Toronto FC. The teams appeared to be evenly matched throughout the game. However , two mistakes provided the only goals of the match.

In the 30th minute, forward Guillermo Barros Schelotto showed why he is one of the league's best, converting a penalty kick. This excitement would later turn to disappointment when a shot by midfielder Dwayne De Rosario became an own goal by the Crew's Gino Padula. Sometimes you have the best of intentions, but things go awry. Padula was simply doing his job, clearing the ball away and defending his goal. However, the ball went badly off course and past an unsuspecting Will Hesmer.

Toronto's "bend but don't break" philosophy seemed to work well again as they now have 4 points going into their game with the Seattle Sounders. The defense of Toronto FC seemed to improve exponentially with the entrance of Greg Sutton after halftime. The veteran Sutton, who replaced Stefan Frei, proved to be a steadying force for Toronto. Sutton yielded no goals on 3 shots by Columbus. De Rosario also played well, providing 4 of Toronto's 11 shots. He appears to be a solid addition to Toronto FC after being acquired from the Houston Dynamo.

Some may question the decision to pull Schelotto in the 76th minute. It seemed like a good idea as the Crew appeared to have the game in hand. You surely cannot blame the coach for trying to avoid injury to the team's star. Critics would want to vilify Warzycha if Schelotto would have been injured late in the game. Clearly all is not lost for the Crew. It is only the second game of the year and several players are operating at an extremely high level. Schelotto, midfielder Emmanuel Ekpo, and defender Chad Marshall all put in solid performances and look to build off of last year's success.

The Crew now head to Utah to face Real Salt Lake on Thursday, a match televised nationally by ESPN2.

Crew Opens MLS Cup Title Defense with 1-1 Draw at Houston

HOUSTON, TX - March 22, 2009 - The Columbus Crew opened defense of its MLS Cup Championship Saturday night with a 1-1 draw at Houston – in a contest between the last three Major League Soccer champions – thanks to an equalizing goal in the 81st minute by 2008 MLS MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

After a first half in which neither side was able to draw first blood, Houston took the lead in the 53rd minute, when Chris Wondolowski sprung Brian Ching with a pass behind the Crew defense, which Ching poked home for his first goal of 2009.

The Crew responded in the 82nd minute when rookie midfielder Alex Grendi sent a diagonal pass to second half substitute Jason Garey at the top of the box. Garey nodded the ball down to a wide open Schelotto who calmly slotted the ball inside the right post and into the back of the net to bring the Black & Gold even.

Both sides pressed for the breakthrough goal in the match’s final minutes, but neither team was successful as they opened the 2009 MLS season with one point apiece.

Crew Signs Grendi to Developmental Contract

COLUMBUS, OH - March 13, 2009 - The MLS Cup-champion Columbus Crew announced today that it has signed midfielder Alex Grendi to a developmental contract. Per club and league policy, no further terms of the deal were disclosed.

Grendi was selected by the Crew in the third round (No. 45 overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft and has trained with the Black & Gold throughout the duration of its preseason camp. He has appeared in six of the club’s eight preseason matches and picked up a pair of assists.

"Alex wasn't much of a known quantity going into the (MLS Player) Combine (in January), but he showed well there and has proven during the preseason that he can make a contribution,” said Technical Director Brian Bliss. “He’s making steady progress and adds depth at a couple of different positions in our attack.”

 A 21-year old native of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Grendi notched eight goals and 20 assists in 65 career games at the University of Pennsylvania. He finished his four-year collegiate career third on Penn’s all-time assists list, and was twice named the team’s Offensive MVP. He was also selected to the All-Ivy League First Team and the NSCAA All-Northeast third team in his senior season, and was also an All-Ivy selection as a sophomore in 2006.

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