Crew's Warzycha to Lead Generation adidas Squad in Upcoming Tour in South Africa
COLUMBUS, OH - November 29, 2009 - Major League Soccer and adidas announced today that Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha has been selected to lead 18 MLS ‘Generation adidas’ players to South Africa – site of the 2010 FIFA World Cup – for a two-week tour that will include a trio of friendly matches. The group is scheduled to depart Friday, Nov. 27 and will return stateside Tuesday, Dec. 8.
The squad will first take on the Orlando Pirates reserve squad on Monday, Nov. 30, then will take on a yet-to-be-determined opponent on Thursday, Dec. 3. The schedule of friendlies will then conclude with a match against the AJAX Cape Town reserves on Sunday, Dec. 6.
The group will also enjoy sightseeing and take part in several appearances while in South Africa, including visits to Soweto “Nelson Mandela House," the Apartheid Museum, the World Cup 2010 Draw and the opening of the first FIFA Football for Hope Centre.
Warzycha, who will be joined on the trip by Crew assistant coach Mike Lapper, head athletic trainer Jason Mathews and equipment manager Rusty Wummel, leads the group of rising MLS stars after recently completing his first full season at the helm of the Black & Gold. In it the Crew won its second consecutive MLS Supporters’ Shield with a 13-7-10 regular season record (49 pts.) and advanced to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, while earning recognition as a top-three finalist for the 2009 MLS Coach of the Year award.
Generation adidas, which was established ahead of the 2005 MLS season, is Major League Soccer's youth player development program designed to identify and nurture the elite youth soccer talent in the United States. The youth players who join MLS as part of the Generation adidas program receive unprecedented opportunities to develop their game and hone their skills at the professional level in Major League Soccer. In addition to training and playing on a weekly basis with one of Major League Soccer's 14 professional clubs, Generation adidas players also receive educational grants to further their college education.
Crew's Moreno among 10 Players Selected by Philadelphia in 2009 MLS Expansion Draft
NEW YORK - November 25, 2009 - Major League Soccer held its 2009 Expansion Draft Wednesday for the League’s 16th team, Philadelphia Union, which selected 10 players to begin constructing its roster for the 2010 season. Philadelphia selected one player each from 10 of the 15 MLS teams, including forward Alejandro Moreno from the MLS Supporters Shield-winning Crew.
Philadelphia Union, which will be a member of the Eastern Conference, will play their home opener at Lincoln Financial Field (home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles) on April 10, 2010 and open its home stadium, Union Field, in Chester, Pa., during the 2010 season.
The 30-year-old Moreno was originally acquired by the Crew from the Houston Dynamo on May 9, 2007, in exchange for Joseph Ngwenya. Moreno made 74 appearances, 69 of them starts, in his three seasons with the Black & Gold, totaling 20 goals and 12 assists in that time. He was the Crew’s Budweiser Golden Boot winner during its 2008 MLS Cup championship season, leading the club with nine goals. The Venezuelan international heads to Philadelphia with 200 career regular-season games, 43 goals and 28 assists under his belt.
“While we are very disappointed to lose a player of Alejandro’s caliber and qualities, it’s unfortunately the price of building a championship team with great depth,” said Crew technical director Brian Bliss. “He is a great professional and leader who was a very important part of our three major trophies over the last two years and we wish him happiness and continued success in Philadelphia.”
Five teams did not have a player selected – FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Kansas City Wizards, Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC. Each of the League’s 15 teams was allowed to protect 11 players, leaving all others unprotected and available for selection by the Union.
The following is a complete list of players selected in the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft: defender Jordan Harvey (Colorado Rapids), midfielder Andrew Jacobsen (D.C. United), goalkeeper Brad Knighton (New England Revolution), forward Sebastien Le Toux (Seattle Sounders FC), midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi (LA Galaxy), forward Alejandro Moreno (Columbus Crew), defender Dave Myrie (Chicago Fire), midfielder Shea Salinas (San Jose Earthquakes), defender Shavar Thomas (Chivas USA), and midfielder Nick Zimmerman (New York Red Bulls).
Crew Fall in First Round, Real Move On
Columbus, OH - November 6, 2009 - The Columbus Crew season has ended after a 3-2 loss to Real Salt Lake in what maybe the biggest upset in MLS Cup 2009. 10,109 Crew supporters came to see their black and gold move onto the next round of the MLS playoffs, but will be unable to defend their MLS Cup from a year ago. Now the history books will continue stand that no MLS team has ever won the Supporter’s Shield two years in a row and won the MLS Cup those two years, as the Crew were vying to be the first team to do so.
“I am proud of the team,” Head Coach Robert Warzycha exclaimed after the match. “Sometimes the better team does not win, but that is the sport.”
The Crew looked right off the bat to get that goal needed to equal the series. Within the first four minutes, the Crew had a corner and possession in the attacking half, but could not register a shot on goal. Head Coach Robert Warzycha had his big attacking players in his starting 11 that were not in the first leg, including Alejandro Moreno and Guillermo Barros Schelotto, the Crew’s leading goal scorer for the 2009 campaign.
Will Hesmer came up big in the early going when Real Salt Lake’s Javier Morales fed a streaking Andy Williams into the box, had Hesmer in a one-on-one, but Hesmer stuck his right foot out and was able to clear the ball away, despite getting Williams’ cleats drown Hesmer’s leg. RSL seemed to have fun and games on the night, when the Nordeke greeted Javier Morales with loud boos when he took a corner on the northeast side of the stadium. Morales put his hand up to his ear antagonizing the crowd.
Crew got their chances going again in the 19th minute when Alejandro Moreno was fouled as he made a run down the left wing. He was tripped up by RSL defender Jamison and Schelotto asked for a card after referee Baldomero Toledo called the foul. On the ensuing free kick, Schelotto put a rocket towards the goal from 45 yards out, took one bounce around the penalty spot and beat a diving RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando to his left side. Defender Eric Brunner went up for the ball, but never touched, giving Schelotto the unassisted free kick goal. The playoff leg was tied, 1-1.
The game went back and forth from that point, until Schelotto was a key part of the Crew’s second goal of the night. Schelotto stopped a pass from Robbie Russell. The ball bounced off Schelotto’s boot to the Crew’s Emmanuel Ekpo’s head, back to Schelotto who dribbled the ball with his right foot down the 18 yard box line, ripped a shot that beat Rimando, again to the goalie’s left. Crew led 2-1 in the game and in the series just 35 minutes into the match.
But RSL were not going to lie down as they equaled the series when Morales put a shot just under Hesmer’s left hand, after he received a pass from US international, Kyle Beckerman. Again RSL was able to create chances after beating the back line of the Crew with their goal in the 37th minute. RSL took the lead in the series before the teams headed into the locker rooms as Frankie Hejduk took down RSL’s Fabian Espindola in the box as the forward was looking to get the ball from a RSL free kick. Hejduk brought him down with nobody around him and made it apparent for Toledo to call the PK. Michael Findley took his second ever PK and made it count as the forward beat Hesmer to the goalie’s right as the keeper guessed wrong and dove the wrong way, 2-2 at the half and the Crew needed to hold off RSL if they were to make it to the next round of the MLS Cup.
“We just knew all around the field that it was not over,” Findley said. “We wanted to play here like we play at home, and that’s what we were able to do.”
The Crew needed to get off to a hot start in the second half and almost broke through five minutes in the half. Schelotto put another long free kick into the box, but this time defender Eric Brunner put a head on it but Rimando came away with a one handed save to keep RSL on top of the match and series. The Crew were unlucky not to get a PK after RSL’s Wiliiams cleared a ball that was centered in, but as he kicked it, the ball nicked off his hand, but no call was given.
“He made some fantastic saves again tonight,” Real head coach Jason Kries said after the match. “This time of year it’s about players making plays.”
In the 57th minute Schelotto had a free kick in the edge of the penalty box that hit off the wall and Gino Padula got the rebound but put the ball well wide. The Crew thought they had gotten their penalty just a minute later when Alejandro Moreno dribbled the ball into the box and was brought down by a RSL defender. Toledo called Moreno for diving and gave him a yellow, however on review; Moreno did receive studs to his shin and the foul looked genuine.
“These guys deserve a fair game and judgment from the referee,” Crew head coach Warzycha said after the match. “He didn’t have a good day.”
After 64th minute the Crew were still down, as Robbie Rogers was subbed in for Ekpo looking for that offensive spark, then 10 minutes later brought in Steven Lenhart for Hejduk, but that did not help as RSL put the nail in the coffin as Williams took the pass from a short corner and put the crossing ball through RSL’s Kyle Beckerman’s legs and beat a diving Will Hesmer. Hesmer admitted to not seeing the ball after the match, but nobody on either side knew the ball was not touched in the box. The Crew were down 3-2 in the match and looked to have an even more insurmountable playoff deficit.
“We didn’t want to come in and just sit in, we thought that was the easiest way to lose a game,” Real Captain Kyle Beckerman said was their game plan on the night. “We wanted to come out and play our best. They’re really dangerous on free kicks.”
Even RSL keeper Rimando brought his best as he stopped a Robbie Rogers’ header that was destined for the back of the net, but Rimando was able to push it away. In all Rimando finished with eight saves and despite giving up the two goals the Crew needed, became a great resource for Real.
The Crew tried time and time again, but fell short and will not be heading to the MLS finals. Their next match is not until next March for the CONCACAF Champions League, but all on their roster are unhappy on how 2009 finished.
Crew's Marshall, Warzycha among finalists for 2009 MLS Awards
NEW YORK, NY - November 2, 2009 - Major League Soccer today announced the finalists for its 2009 year-end awards. Winners for each award will be announced in the coming weeks, beginning with the Goalkeeper of the Year and Fair Play winners on Wednesday, Nov. 4. The Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player announcement is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 19.
The finalists, listed in alphabetical order below for each award, earned the most votes in polling of MLS players, general managers, coaches, referees and members of the media. The MLS W.O.R.K.S. – U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year will be determined by representatives from the U.S. Soccer Foundation and MLS W.O.R.K.S., and is scheduled to be announced on Friday, Nov. 6.
This season’s most outstanding individual plays will be honored on Wednesday, Nov. 18 when the Goal of the Year presented by AT&T and the Save of the Year presented by Degree Men are announced. Voting for the Goal and Save of the Year is conducted on the League’s official web site MLSnet.com.
The 2009 awards announcements culminate on Saturday, Nov. 22 with the unveiling of the Commissioner’s Award winner.
Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists
Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC
Donovan Ricketts – Los Angeles Galaxy
Zach Thornton – Chivas USA
Fair Play Finalists - Individual
Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC
Pat Onstad – Houston Dynamo
Steve Ralston – New England Revolution
Comeback Player of the Year Finalists
Brian McBride – Chicago Fire
Ben Olsen – D.C. United
Zach Thornton – Chivas USA
Visa Defender of the Year Finalists
Geoff Cameron – Houston Dynamo
Jhon Kennedy Hurtado – Seattle Sounders FC
Chad Marshall – Columbus Crew
adidas Referee of the Year Finalists
Rookie of the Year Finalists
Stefan Frei – Toronto FC
Omar Gonzalez – Los Angeles Galaxy
Chris Pontius – D.C. United
Coach of the Year Finalists
Bruce Arena – Los Angeles Galaxy
Sigi Schmid – Seattle Sounders FC
Robert Warzycha – Columbus Crew
Newcomer of the Year Finalists
Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC
Freddie Ljungberg – Seattle Sounders FC
Fredy Montero – Seattle Sounders FC
Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player Finalists
Jeff Cunningham – FC Dallas
Landon Donovan – Los Angeles Galaxy
Shalrie Joseph – New England Revolution