The View from Our Crew

Crew, Seattle Play to 1-1 Draw in First-Ever Meeting

SEATTLE, WA - May 30, 2009 - The Columbus Crew got a spectacular goal from Alejandro Moreno, helping it play Seattle Sounders FC to a 1-1 draw Saturday at Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field and extend its unbeaten streak to seven games (2-0-5).

Columbus opened the scoring in the 12th minute of the match on Moreno's diving header. Jed Zayner slipped the ball up the right flank for Pat Noonan, whose cross found Moreno for the finish past Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

Nate Jaqua scored the tying goal in the 58th minute, a 10-yard volley to the upper left corner of the net, his second equalizing goal in as many matches and the fifth consecutive tie for the Sounders FC (4-2-5). Freddie Ljungberg had missed a penalty kick in the 32nd minute, shooting wide left.

Wonderful Wednesday Win

COLUMBUS, OH - May 27, 2010 - It was a rare Wednesday night match for the Columbus Crew. The struggling San Jose Earthquakes, who are currently last in the Western Conference standings, proved to be a formidable opponent. Fortunately, the Crew were up for the challenge.

The Crew would again be depleted by injuries to key players, including midfielder Adam Moffat, keeper William Hesmer, and defender Frankie Hejduk. Injuries were also an issue for the Earthquakes, who were without star midfielder Darren Huckerby.

Forward Ryan Johnson, who led the Earthquakes with 4 goals, was the first to score in the 23rd minute. Columbus responded in the 29th minute with a goal by midfielder Eddie Gaven. A Schelotto corner kick set up quite a sequence of events with assists going to defenders Eric Brunner and Gino Padula. Gaven was able to head in a goal to the bottom left corner past a diving Joe Cannon. This brought the score to an even 1-1.

The game became increasingly physical as the match continued. Several hard collisions, including one involving Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum, characterized the fiery play by both squads. Fans and players struggled with several no-calls throughout the match. The referee was extremely conservative with the issuing of cards.

The Crew started off hot in the second quarter with a goal by captain Guillermo Barros Schelotto in the 46th minute. Schelotto, assisted by forward Alejandro Moreno and midfielder Emmanuel Ekpo, was simply electrifying with the ball. He created scoring opportunities and drew the attention of the San Jose defenders. The weather could have become a factor with dark storm clouds looming in the horizon. The rain came, but seemed to have little impact on the game itself.

Midfielder Kevin Burns made his MLS debut when he entered the game for Brian Carroll in the 69th minute. Burns and forward Steven Lenhart, who came in at the 58th minute, were curious choices for Coach Robert Warzycha. Many wondered what his motivation might be, choosing these substitutes over established bench players.

The victory felt somehow shallow with the news of a devestating injury to Brian Carroll. No one realized the seriousness of the situation when Carroll left the game. Most assumed that he would "shake it off" and then continue with the match. This would not be the case as it was announced that Carroll suffered a dislocated shoulder and will most likely have surgery on Thursday. He will miss a considerable amount of time, which will push the depth of the Crew even further. Coach Warzycha discussed the importance of a player like Carroll when he said "I would have rather taken a loss tonight and have Brian for the next game."

The team also announced that defender Frankie Hejduk will miss the next game due to a grade 1 groin strain. Hejduk, one of the game's great professionals, stated that "my injury had no impact on the game. We won and that is what everybody wanted."

The Crew's depth and determination will be tested when they travel to Seattle for a Saturday match against the Sounders. This will be a reunion of sorts for Columbus as they face their former coach Sigi Schmid. Seattlle, who began the season with three consecutive victories, is a quality squad loaded with veteran talent and several key prospects. Goalkeeper Kasey Keller and midfielder Freddie Ljungberg are highly respected in the international game, while Fredy Montero and Steve Zakuani look to be the future stars of Major League Soccer.

Crew Draws Galaxy 1-1

CARSON, CA - May 17, 2009 - The Columbus Crew extended its unbeaten streak to five games Sunday afternoon as it drew with the Los Angeles Galaxy, 1-1, at The Home Depot Center.

Reigning MLS MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto provided the Crew’s lone goal in the 70th minute thanks to a spectacular individual effort. Schelotto raced into the Galaxy’s defensive third and stripped Galaxy defender Tony Sanneh, before unleashing a low shot past goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts into the left corner of the net to give the Crew the lead.

The Crew fell on hard luck in the 89th minute when defender Danny OR17;Rourke was issued a second yellow card caution after a hard tackle on The Galaxy''s Landon Donovan and was subsequently sent off with an automatic red card. L.A. continued to pressure hard in the match's final moments and two minutes into stoppage time, a clearance by the Crew defense fell directly to Galaxy defender Eddie Lewis who loosed a long volleyed shot into the side netting for the equalizing goal, sending both sides away from the match with a point apiece.

What a Relief!

COLUMBUS, OH - May 9 , 2010 - The Columbus Crew were hoping the 10th anniversary of Crew Stadium would be a good time to get back to their winning ways. The match started with an energized, attacking Crew squad. Wizards goalkeeper Kevin Hartman proved to be a major obstacle, punching away several shots. Hartman provided a key defensive stop with a spectacular save in the 24th minute, keeping a Robbie Rogers shot from falling to the back of the net.

The Crew's reign of bad luck came to an end in the 38th minute with a goal by Emmanuel Ekpo that bounced off almost the entire team before Ekpo put it past Hartman. It was surprising to see a shot go by Hartman, who is widely regarded as one of the league's best keepers. The aggressive style utilized by the Crew in the first half was very effective against a sometimes hapless Wizards defense.

The Wizards looked to take back the momentum by sending in star striker Claudio Lopez after halftime. The move seemed to be the right one as Lopez scored in the 51st minute, bring the score to 1-1. Lopez turned a free kick into a goal, taking advantage of a disoriented Andy Gruenebaum. The shot took an awkward bounce before getting past the keeper. A recent illness caused Onalfo to use Lopez as a substitute, instead of taking his usual place in the starting eleven.

Fortunately, the Crew were able to respond with a goal of their own in the 55th minute. Guillermo Barros Schelotto, assisted by captain Frankie Hejduk, was able to turn a header past Hartman to make the score 2-1, advantage Columbus Crew.

Some tense moments after a hard challenge of Ekpo resulted in yellows cards to Roger Espinoza (67th minute) and Hejduk (68th minute). Eddie Gaven made the score 3-1 with a goal assisted by Robbie Rogers in the 78th minute. Kansas City brought the score closer with a goal by Josh Wolff in the 79th minute. The goal by Wolff, assisted by Jack Jewsbury and Herculez Gomez, was his fourth of the season.

The last minutes of the match tested the nerves of Crew players, coaches, and fans alike. No one wanted to see a victory slip away in the final moments. The 3-2 lead for Columbus proved to be enough for the no longer winless Crew.

This match was marked by exemplary performances from both sides. The return of Hejduk brought many things to the table for the Crew. His leadership, positive attitude, and sense of confidence was clearly seen by all. Midfielder Emmanuel Ekpo, easily the team's fastest player, looked to be a rising star in Major League Soccer. Ekpo, who is speedy and aggressive with the ball, has now scored goals in consecutive games. Schelotto proved to be "a magician with the ball" once again and might actually be getting better with age.

However, the positive performances were not limited to the Crew squad. Forwards Lopez and Wolff played exceptionally well. Lopez, once a Designated Player for the Wizards, was very dangerous every time he touched the ball. The Crew defense was fortunate that he only scored one goal; it could have been much worse. Wolff, a veteran in the international game, was a leader on the field and only got better with the entrance of Lopez.

Onalfo quickly dismissed the possible reasons for the loss by saying, "We don't make excuses. We find solutions. We weren't good enough tonight." Onalfo continued to praise the work of the Crew and its players. "Schelotto has his hands in everything. He showed the class that he is tonight. He scores a crucial goal right after we tied up."

"We have been waiting for this since the beginning of the season." These words show the great burden that has been lifted off the shoulders of Head Coach Robert Warzycha. The same feelings were echoed by Hejduk who said, "It has been a grind. At different points in the season every team goes through times. Unfortunately for us it was the first few games. Now hopefully this win will get us over the hump and get the monkey off our back so we can start fresh again."

The Crew, armed with a positive attitude and a change in perspective, look to build off this victory as they go west to face the Los Angeles Galaxy on May 17. The Galaxy, led by Landon Donovan, are currently 1-1-6 in the standings.

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