The View from Our Crew

Crew Get "Blackout" in Loss to Galaxy

COLUMBUS, OH - May 29, 2010 - On "Blackout the Galaxy" night in Columbus, the Crew dropped a 2-0 decision to the Los Angeles Galaxy Saturday night at Crew Stadium in front of 18,000 strong. Michael Stephens scored his first career MLS goal and Bruce Arena got his 100th career MLS coaching win, only the fourth to do so, as the Galaxy is now the last unbeaten team in MLS.

The Crew came out looking to score quickly as the Galaxy were fresh from their friendly with Argentina’s Boca Juniors on Sunday and Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle being absent due to their call-ups to the U.S. World Cup roster.

Photo Credit: Robert Ivory/ISNSoccer.comBut it would be L. A. that would score first in the 10th minute, when midfielder Michael Stephens scored his first MLS goal. Stephens received a pass from Chris Birchall and Stephens was left all alone by the Crew defense and put his shot past crew keeper Will Hesmer, quieting the Nordeke.

“I floated to the back post,” Stephens said. “Birchall played a good ball across the box and I was wide open for an easy goal.”

The Crew had the better half offensively; ending with ten shots, but could not put away the goal. Steven Lenhart was a thorn in the side of the Galaxy as he continually tested Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts (who had four saves all night). Lenhart got closer and closer to equalizing, but never could find the answer.

Andy Iro almost had the first Crew goal in the 75th minute, as he put a header on the right posts. It looked like the Crew were sniffing their big goal.

Columbus Head Coach Robert Warzycha had his team push for that equalizer and would even use all his subs before the 75th minute. Most notably of those subs was Jason Garey, who thought he had a goal when he put the ball past Ricketts and the stadium erupted. However, Garey was called for offside and the goal disallowed. Just a minute later, the Crew looked to have L. A. down to ten men after Birchall cut down Emilio Renteria from behind, but he was only cautioned.

Warzycha threw everything he had at the Galaxy in the last fifteen minutes, putting all of his men forward looking to get the goal the Crew usually get at the end of games.

“I think they threw a lot of energy in at the end of the game,” Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena said. “Be my guest to figure what formation they were playing at the end. It looked like everyone they had they threw in there.”

The difference was Ricketts, who leads the league with 8 shutouts and 9 wins, has not conceded a goal since a 4-1 win over Philadelphia on May 2. 

The Crew would dominate the stats, as they out-shot LA (21-3), shots on goal (4-3), corner kicks (15-0), and LA out fouled (12-4), and were cautioned four times to the Crew’s one.

“You can win the game on the stat sheet, but you have to finish your chances,” Warzycha said after the game. 
Galaxy forward Tristen Bowen put the game away in the 87th minute, when he got a nice pass from Chris Klein and had enough time to put it past Hesmer for the nail in the coffin. The start for Bowen was only his second of the year, but his services were needed with the absence of Donovan and Buddle.

“We’re often criticized for how old our team is, nice to see some of the young guys helping us out,” Arena said, “And they have done a good job.”

The Galaxy still lead the Western Conference with 29 points, most in MLS, and the Crew stay at 20 points, five ahead of New York Red Bulls.

Crew off to Best Start in Club History

KANSAS CITY, KS - May 22, 2010 - The Columbus Crew earned yet another gritty win Sunday, as it defeated the Kansas City Wizards, 1-0, on a hot afternoon at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

Emilio Renteria scored the game-winner for the surging Crew, who earned their third win in eight days and second straight on a brief road swing against conference foes. The unmarked Venezuelan forward pounced on a Guillermo Barros Schelotto corner kick in the 64th minute and blasted a header past helpless Wizards goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.

Crew Now in First

HARRISON, N.J. - May 20, 2010 - The Columbus Crew got goals from Eddie Gaven, Andy Iro and Emilio Renteria, as it leapfrogged New York into first place in the Eastern Conference with a 3-1 win over the Red Bulls in its first trip to Red Bull Arena. The victory also kept the Crew unbeaten at 5-0-2 and snapped an 11-game winless streak at New York (0-8-3, all at Giants Stadium).

Columbus opened the scoring in the 35th minute, when Frankie Hejduk whipped in a cross from the right flank, which found the head of Eddie Gaven. The former MetroStars midfielder then nodded home his second goal of the season past a diving Bouna Coundoul. Gaven's perfectly weighted drive into the box off a corner kick four minutes later met a rising Andy Iro, whose header found the back of the net to double the score.

The Red Bulls broke through to make a game of it when second-half substitute Tony Tchani scored a header for his first career goal off Carlos Mendes' cross in the 81st minute. But moments later, Columbus' second-half substitute Emilio Renteria got the ball deep in the attacking third. The forward swept the ball to his right and past the keeper, placing his shot into an empty net for his first goal in league play.

World Cup Hopefuls Faceoff in Columbus

COLUMBUS, OH - May 15, 2010 - The Crew's Chad Marshall and Robbie Rogers will be seeing Chivas USA's Sacha Kljestan and Jonathan Bornstein a lot in the coming days. All four have been named to Bob Bradley's preliminary roster of 30 for the World Cup in South Africa. However, tonight they would find themselves leading their respective teams in an important matchup that ended in a 1-0 Crew victory.

The Columbus Crew were literally 100% healthy with no injuries reported. Chivas was a different story and would be without the services of defender Ante Jazic (knee sprain), goalkeeper Dan Kennedy (hip strain), defender Yamith Cuesta (oral surgery), striker Maykel Galindo (ankle sprain), and midfielder Cesar Zamora (U.S. U-20 National Team).

The match started quickly with a shot from the Crew's Adam Moffat in just the 2nd minute. It was high, but it set the tone for the match. The first half was much like a rollercoaster with lots of ups and downs. The Crew's Eddie Gaven had a breakaway in the 12th minute and was able to connect with Steven Lenhart, whose header was just off target. Jesus Padilla of Chivas USA, who impressed many with his speed and precision, would have moments of his own. His shot in the 22nd was a narrow miss to the left of the goal, just outside the reach of Crew goalkeeper Will Hesmer. Padilla would get another breakaway in the 24th, but nothing other than a corner kick came of it.

Moffat would send a rocket from forty yards out in the 26th off a Crew free kick. Three minutes later Lenhart connected on another header, but still no goal. Halftime would come with a 0-0 score. Chivas and the Crew both had scoring opportunities, but most would say the visitors had a better first half. Little did we know that a bit of luck would swing the way of the home team.

Things continued to heat up as the teams left the locker room. Chivas had easily the best opportunity of the night in the 58th minute. There was quite a sequence of events, but it ended in two goalmouth blocks by Gino Padula. The visitors were literally inches away from a goal.

Photo Credit: Gary L. Moody Sr./ISNSoccer.comChivas striker Justin Braun would go on the attack in the 84th minute, getting into space with two Crew defenders in pursuit. Hesmer would make two good moves, lunging forward to take away the chance of another shot. The Crew defense has been tested early and often, but had somehow held firm through a strong performance from Chivas USA. Some might even call it a dominating performance from the Goats.

Lady Luck smiled on the Crew in the 90th as a penalty kick was awarded to the Crew. Marshall was pulled down in the box by Braun just minutes away from a potential 0-0 draw. The legendary Guillermo Barros Schelotto came forward and cooly converted the PK to the cheers of the home crowd. This is just another instance of the Argentine striker winning it for the Crew.

The Goats tried to make a comeback in the final minutes, but to no avail. A victory was just not meant to be for Chivas despite a "lights out" performance by Zach Thornton and some fiery, passionate play from Sacha Kljestan. There was a bit more energy coming from Kljestan, fresh off the news of the World Cup roster."Obviously I was very excited. It has been a goal of mine for a very long time to play in a World Cup," Kljestan commented. "Camp is going to be very tough and very competitive. I will do everything in my power to make the 23 man roster."

Kljestan may have been the best player on the field Saturday night despite playing a bit out of position as a third forward. This change provided him with the opportunity to roam the field, creating opportunities along the way.

The statistics didn't tell the true story of the play on the pitch. The visitors had an advantage in shots (14), corner kicks (6), and saves (5). The hometown Crew had a slight advantage in just one category: shots on goal (5). Chivas USA put together a hands down, dominant display at Crew Stadium and still came away with nothing. There is something to be said for homefield advantage, a little luck, and a lot of hard work.

The atmosphere in the locker rooms couldn't have been more different. You could hear a pin drop in the visitors' locker room. "It's disappointing to come out of here with nothing after playing 85 or 86 minutes of good soccer,"Chivas USA defender Jonathan Bornstein commented.

The Crew locker room was quite light hearted and jovial as expected. "They were a good team. They keep the ball and possess it well," midfielder Adam Moffat said of the opposing squad. "We never gave them too many chances. Just working hard you know."

The unbeaten Crew (4-0-2) now head out on a a short road trip, facing the New York Red Bulls (May 20) and the Kansas City Wizards (May 23). Chivas USA (3-5-1) returns home to face the defending MLS Champions Real Salt Lake on May 22nd before two road games against D.C. United (May 29) and the New York Red Bulls (June 5).

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

Chivas USA Starting Lineup: GK Zach Thornton, DEF Mariano Trujillo, DEF Michael Umana, DEF Dario Delgado, DEF Jonathan Bornstein, MID Ben Zemanski, MID Blair Gavin, MID Michael Lahoud, FWD Sacha Kljestan (C), FWD Jesus Padilla, FWD Justin Braun

Fantastic Finish for Rogers, Crew

COLUMBUS, OH - May 8, 2010 - The New England Revolution's attack was quite prolific Saturday night, putting away three goals against the Columbus Crew. Unfortunately for the Revs (2-5-1), one of them was an own goal by defender and captain Cory Gibbs. The game ended in a 3-2 victory for the Crew (3-0-2) thanks to a late strike by midfielder Robbie Rogers.

Photo Credit: gary L. Moody Sr./ISNSoccer.comThe Revolution came into the match ready to make a statement after Wednesday's 4-0 drubbing by Chivas USA. This was easier said than done as the injury list for New England had simply gotten out of hand. Head Coach Steve Nicol was lucky to find eleven players fit for the match. The Revs were without the services of defender Emmanuel Osei (leg infection), goalkeeper Matt Reis (knee/shoulder), forward Taylor Twellman (concussion), midfielder Mike Videira (ankle), and defender Kevin Alston (illness). New England clearly missed the dynamic play of star midfielder Shalrie Joseph, who reportedly has joined the league's substance abuse program.

The Crew on the other hand were near 100% as both of their injured players, Gino Padula (knee) and Chad Marshall (hamstring), started the match.

The frigid weather clearly kept some fans at home. The crowd of 10,197 was treated to a match with five goals and a plethora of scoring opportunities. Rogers may have been a hero for the hometown Crew, but midfielder Zak Boggs nearly stole the show after scoring two goals for New England in the first 40 minutes. Nicol praised the play of his young player, who made his MLS debut this season on March 27 against the L.A. Galaxy. "He's done fantastic. His second goal was a finish that anybody would be proud of. I don't care what league you're playing in," Nicol commented during the post-game press conference.

The game was physical from the start, but it took nearly 30 minutes for anyone to score. Boggs got a weird spin on his first shot; it got away from Crew keeper Will Hesmer in the 29th. Just two minutes later Eddie Gaven brought things even at 1-1. Gibbs struggled through the match, scoring an own goal in the 35th to put Columbus ahead 2-1. Boggs would get his second goal of the evening in the 40th minute; halftime came with the score knotted up at 2-2.

Lots of opportunities, especially for the Crew, came in the second half. Revs keeper Preston Burpo played much better than the stats (6 saves, 3 goals allowed) suggest. Burpo's "lights out" performance easily denied the Crew of three or four more goals. Columbus had a ridiculous 16 shots, including 13 in the second half.

Colombian striker Sergio Herrera saw his first action of the season, coming in as a late Crew substitute. Herrera helped set up the play that resulted in the goal by Rogers in the 91st minute. Herrera's few minutes on the pitch still provided dividends for the victorious Crew.

A clearly frustrated New England squad would have left town with a point if it wasn't for Rogers' shocking goal in extra time. "We can't ask for any more from the players," Nicol commented. "We got punished for three mistakes. We end up going away with nothing."

Both teams return to action on Saturday, May 15. The Revs look to turn things around with a home game against the upstart San Jose Earthquakes, while the Crew face Sacha Kljestan and Chivas USA at the fortess known as Crew Stadium.

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

New England Revolution Starting Lineup: GK Preston Burpo, DEF Chris Tierney, DEF Cory Gibbs (C), DEF Darrius Barnes, DEF Pat Phelan, MID Joseph Niouky, MID Seth Sinovic, MID Zak Boggs, MID Khano Smith, FWD Kheli Dube, FWD Sainey Nyassi

Crew Stays Unbeaten with 1-1 Draw at Seattle

SEATTLE, WA - May 1, 2010 - The Columbus Crew withstood a strong first half by Sounders FC, rallied for an equalizer and held on for a 1-1 draw Saturday night at Qwest Field to retain it's unbeaten start to the 2010 season.

Seattle got off to a quick start with a score by Steve Zakuani in the match's fourth minute. After a series of passes in the midfield, Freddie Ljungberg sent a pass to a streaking Zakuani behind the Crew defense. Zakuani ran onto the pass and evaded Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer before sending his shot into the open net.

As the first half came to a close, the Crew's Danny O'Rourke ran on to pass from Eddie Gaven down the left flank before sending in a precise cross into the Seattle penalty box, where Steven Lenhart snuck through the Seattle defense to head home his first goal of the season and to silence the crowd at Qwest Field.

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