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Author Topic: Columbus Crew Discussion  (Read 12118 times)

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Offline Columbo

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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #450 on: July 24, 2011, 01:19:35 PM »
On a hot and humid Saturday night the Crew hosted the Portland Timbers.  The Crew went into the match undermanned.  Added to the litany of player injuries for this game was the Crew's leading scorer Andres Mendoza and Crew starting goalkeeper William Hesmer.  Mendoza went down with left hamstring injury in their previous game at LA.  Hesmer suffered a left quadriceps strain in practice that he said was a symptom of a nagging knee injury.  Backup keeper Andy Gruenebaum would be making his first regular-season MLS start for the Crew since Aug. 30, 2009.

The heat and mediocre play made the first half unmemorable.  The Crew gained the advantage in the second half, as Portland looked content to play for a road draw.  In the 60th minute, Chad Marshall headed a corner kick that got past the Portland keeper and appeared to cross the goal line.  But a Portland defender made a goal saving clearance kick and it was ruled a no-goal.  Emilio Renteria came on in the 66th minute, his first appearance after a ten-game absence - which was good to see.

The Crew eventually scored on a wild goalmouth scramble in the 79th minute.  In a play that saw the ball ping-pong between multiple Crew players and Timber defenders, Eddie Gaven acrobatically kicked the ball toward the net and saw it bounce off a Portland defender's chest into goal.  And that was all the Crew needed for the 1-0 victory.

PORTLAND VS. COLUMBUS - 7/23/11 GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Crew 1, Timbers 0: Gaven's goal gives Crew tie for lead in East

The win vaulted the Crew (8-6-7) over New York and into a first place tie with Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference.  Philadelphia (8-4-7) does have two less losses and two more games-in-hand then the Crew, but what-the-heck its still first place!  Kind of amazing - considering all the roster changes, injuries and inconsistent play for the Crew this season.

After the Crew host a "friendly" on Tuesday against Newcastle United of the English Premier League, they travel to Real Salt Lake (9-3-6) on Saturday.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 03:39:09 PM by rider »
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Offline Columbo

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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #451 on: July 31, 2011, 03:37:48 PM »
On Saturday night the Crew entered Utah winless in their history at Rio Tinto and tied for first place in the East.  They left Utah with a 2-0 win and in sole possession of first place.

Gruenebaum replaced injured starting keeper Hesmer for a second straight game.  Leading scorer Mendoza was also on the bench for a second straight game.  But Robbie Rogers was not on the bench - and that made the difference in the match.  In the 5th minute Rogers got behind the RSL defense and sent a cross to a wide open Gaven, who blasted it home.  Five minutes later Rogers sent a similar crossing pass to Heinemann, who headed it home.  After just 10 minutes, it was 2-0.  Gruenebaum had a nifty save to start the second half and the Crew benefited from a non-call on possible hand ball later to preserve the win.

REAL SALT LAKE VS. COLUMBUS - 7/30/11 GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Crew 2, Real Salt Lake 0 - Early burst helps Crew move into first place

The Crew are now three points ahead of second place Philadelphia in the East (although Philly does still have two games-in-hand over the Crew) and four points ahead of third place New York (Crew also has one game-in-hand over NY).  Many matches left in the season - but after the tumulus off-season - did you really expect to see the Crew atop the Eastern Conference standings?

Columbus (9-6-7) travel to Colorado (8-6-10) on Friday.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 03:41:27 PM by rider »
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Offline Columbo

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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #452 on: August 05, 2011, 10:53:10 AM »
Brief round-up of some Crew articles from the Dispatch in preparation for tonight's road game at Colorado.  The first place Crew (doesn't that sound great) face the Rapids tonight at 9:30PM - nationally televised on the Fox Soccer Channel.

First, an article about the new midfielder role Emmanuel Ekpo has settled into this year and his part in the Crew's success - "Ekpo playing at high level in new role".  Next, an article about the Crew's many many injuries this year - "Crew hangs tough despite many injuries".  And finally, an off-the-field article about code enforcement battling the Hudson Street Hooligans Club - one of the Crew's supporter clubs - "Hooligans Club red-carded".  A bit off-topic for a sports thread, but still appropriate given our website's urban issues focus.
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Offline Columbo

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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #453 on: August 08, 2011, 07:35:54 PM »
It figures that when the Crew gets a chance to be on national TV that they produce a clunker. :roll:  It started on a bad note when key midfielder Eddie Gaven had to leave the game after an injury in the 3rd minute.  The Crew had some scoring chances in the first half.  The best being a series of tight passes that led to a crossing pass from Rogers to Mendoza streaking toward the goal.  Unfortunately Mendoza couldn't connect with the pass into the wide open net.

The Rapids went up 1-0 in the 54th minute on a 30-yard blast that beat Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer, who returned to the starting lineup after missing two straight games.  And it was a massive blast.  The Crew had a great chance to tie the game in the 74th minute.  Mendoza slipped past the Rapids defense and received a pass that had him one-on-one with the Rapids goalkeeper.  But Mendoza weakly hit the ball into the goalkeeper.  After that Colorado went up 2-0 in the 79th minute and that was that.

COLORADO VS. COLUMBUS - 8/5/11 GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Rapids 2, Crew 0: Game gets away from Crew in second half

Despite the loss, the Crew are still first in the East.  Columbus is one point ahead of second place Philadelphia (Philly now has only one game-in-hand over the Crew after two straight draws last week).  The Crew are four points ahead of third place New York and a surging Kansas City team.

Columbus (9-7-7) returns home to face New England (4-10-9) on Saturday.
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Offline Columbo

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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #454 on: August 13, 2011, 01:23:24 PM »
Some good news for one of the Crew's supporter clubs - after they had some troubles with "the man" (i.e. city building inspectors).

Hooligans Club to re-open Saturday
By Shawn Mitchell, The Columbus Dispatch
August 12, 2011 - 15:08 PM


The Hudson Street Hooligans Club was granted a temporary, 30-day occupancy permit and will be open for business at 4 p.m. Saturday before the Crew’s game against visiting New England.
 
Hudson Street Hooligans officer Blake Compton said the club has raised considerable funds through donations via a “Save Hooligans” fund and is progressing toward completing renovations that would bring the bar in line with city building use regulations.
 
For now, the club plans to be open on home game days only, Compton said.  To do so, it must leave its doors propped open and pay a firefighter to remain on the premises while the building is occupied.

READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/blogs/covering-the-crew/2011/08/hooligans-club-to-open-saturday.html
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Offline Columbo

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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #455 on: August 15, 2011, 07:36:02 PM »
Saturday’s match started with the Crew dominating possession for most of the first half.  Despite this, the Crew found themselves down 1-0 at the halftime.  Former U.S. national team regular Benny Feilhaber scored for New England just before the first half ended.

In the second half, the Crew tied it up in the 54th minute on a pass Mendoza lofted to Heinemann - which was deflected in goal by a New England defender.  Then in the 75th minute, Crew defender Julius James scored the go-ahead goal with a high-flyer header off a corner kick.  The Crew got their insurance goal in the 81st minute on a series of passes from Marshall to Duka to Rogers and finished off by Renteria.

NEW ENGLAND VS. COLUMBUS - 8/13/11 GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Crew 3, Revolution 1 - All’s well at home: Three second-half goals cement win in game that begins key stretch for Crew

Saturday’s win puts Columbus three points ahead of second place Philadelphia in the East and six points ahead of third place New York.  And who does Columbus face in Crew Stadium next Saturday?  Philadelphia.  Columbus (10-7-7) will face second place Philadelphia (8-5-10) for the first time this season.  Next Saturday's matchup couldn’t have come at a more important time for both teams.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 07:36:50 PM by rider »
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #456 on: August 18, 2011, 01:57:23 PM »
Provocatively titled article over at Columbus Underground about the Columbus Crew that looks at the team - both on the field and in the stands.

The Sports Page: Crew is Winning, Fans not Attending

Interesting subject - especially considering the first place Crew will be facing the second place Philadelphia Union this Saturday in a battle for MLS Eastern Conference supremacy.  Interesting comments too about why attendance might be lagging this year - ranging from the off-season purge of popular players to the lousy economy to the relatively high ticket prices.
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #457 on: August 22, 2011, 09:56:02 PM »
Saturday's battle for the eastern conference lead between Columbus and Philadelphia lived up to its build up.  The Crew struck first with a goal in the 37th minute that featured a slick series of passes.  Mendoza flicked the ball forward to an on-running Rogers who crossed it to Renteria in front of the goal.  Renteria tapped it past the Union goalkeeper for what had to have been the most finesse goal he ever scored for the Crew.

However, the lead didn't last long.  The Philadelphia Union tied it off a corner kick in the 42nd minute.  The corner kick sailed over the arms of Crew goalkeeper Hesmer onto an unmarked Union player who headed it in.  Hesmer complained that he was interfered by other Union player, but didn't convince the ref and got a yellow card instead.

The game-winning goal for the Crew came after halftime in the 51st minute.  Robbie Rogers took the ball wide into the box for another crossing pass.  But this pass was blocked by the hand of a Union defender for a penalty kick.  The PK was taken by Mendoza, who converted it - barely.  The Union goalkeeper guessed right and was able to slow but not stop Mendoza's shot from trickling over the line.  Philadelphia kept pressuring for a second tying goal, but good defense and a few fine saves from Hesmer - including one late into stoppage time - preserved the 2-1 win.

PHILADELPHIA VS. COLUMBUS - 8/20/11 GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Crew 2, Union 1: Renteria, Mendoza score for Crew in matchup of top two teams in East

The win puts Columbus six points ahead of formerly second place Philadelphia in the East.  Philadelphia dropped into fourth place after being passed by surging teams from Kansas City and Houston.  The Crew are now four points ahead of second place Kansas City and five points ahead of third place Houston.  Next Saturday, Columbus (11-7-7) will travel to Seattle (12-5-9) who is second in the West and boasts one of the most intimidating home fields in MLS.
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Offline Columbo

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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #458 on: August 22, 2011, 10:10:58 PM »
MLS Soccer has a piece on the rejuvenated play of Robbie Rogers and the newly healthy Emilio Renteria as the main goal scoring combo for the new-look 2011 Crew:

Crew View: Rogers-Rentería link proving to be potent - Rogers providing the assists, Rentería the goals for top team in East


And Columbus Underground has a very fine recap and photo spread of Saturday's game - as well as a really good update on their previous piece on the Crew's attendance:

The Sports Page: Crew Downs Union, Update on Attendance and Pricing
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Offline Columbo

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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #459 on: September 01, 2011, 05:36:32 PM »
The Crew went to Seattle last Saturday and fell down harder than Didier Drogba. (look it up)  An MLS battle between the "Best of the East" and the "Best of the West" went decidedly to the west.  The Crew had many offensive players returning from injuries - like Mendoza, Renteria and Duka.  But it was missing central defensman Julius James - who was serving a one-game yellow card accumulation suspension - that proved decisive.

Four minutes into the game, Lamar Neagle of Seattle beat James' replacement - rookie Rich Balchan - with a one-on-one move into the box.  Neagle's shot beat an on-rushing Wil Hesmer to put Seattle up 1-0.  In the 16th minute, Balchan committed a handball in the box to give Seattle a penatly kick.  The PK was converted to put Seattle up 2-0 . . . and the rout was on.  Neagle struck again in the 21st minute and another goal was added in the 40th minute to put Seattle up 4-0 at halftime.

The main highlight for the Crew occurred in the 58th minute when Emilio Renteria earned a penalty kick, which Jeff Cunningham converted to make it 4-1.  The goal was Cunningham's 134th career goal and he became the all-time leading scorer in Major League Soccer.  Lamar Neagle got a hat trick when scored his third goal of the match in the 70th minute to give Seattle a 5-1 lead.  Crew defender Josh Gardner capped off the high scoring yet bizarre match when he scored on a 30-yard free kick in the 73rd minute - only to score for Seattle less than a minute later when he deflected a ball into the Crew’s net for an own goal that made the final score 6-2.

SEATTLE VS. COLUMBUS - 8/27/11 GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Sounders 6, Crew 2: Cunningham sets scoring record in blowout

The Crew will have plenty of time to ponder this loss.  They'll be off until September 10 - when Columbus (11-8-7) hosts that team up north, Toronto FC (4-12-12).  Despite the loss, the Crew are still first in the eastern conference.  They lead Kansas City by four points, Houston by five points and Philadelphia by six points.  But the Crew's goal differential sure took a big hit. :wink:
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Offline tedders55

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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #460 on: September 02, 2011, 07:47:34 AM »
^ Yeah I would not be surprised if we had a West v. West Championship game.  MLS really needs to get rid of the cross over from the different conferences.  Hopefully once they add the second NY team (at least that is the rumored 20th team) they can eliminate that.

In better news, the crew has locked up their coach to a new contract.  Considering that this year the Crew was expected to do less than nothing all of their success has to reflect back onto Warzyca.

http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/id/6917789/mls-soccer-columbus-crew-robert-warzycha-agree-multiyear-deal

Crew, Robert Warzycha agree on deal

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Columbus Crew have reached agreement with third-year coach Robert Warzycha on a new multiyear contract.

Offline Columbo

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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #461 on: September 13, 2011, 06:53:51 PM »
What the soccer balls is going on with the Crew?  First, they get blitzed 6-2 in Seattle.  Then, they lose Saturday 4-2 at home against Toronto FC.

It's one thing to lose at Seattle - even if it's 6-2.  Seattle is a quality opponent.  And Seattle's home field advantage is second to none.  But Toronto?  At home?  And 4-2?

Not only was this against a team 4-12-12 and with the fewest points from the east going into the game.  This was also Toronto's first road win of the entire year.  And it was Toronto's first win over the Crew, ever - in 13 games they've played since Toronto joined MLS.

TORONTO VS. COLUMBUS - 9/10/11 GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Toronto FC 4, Crew 2: Crew suffers stunning loss

Not much time to pout about this loss though.  The Crew play tomorrow - when Columbus (11-9-7) hosts Houston (8-9-11), and then they travel to Philadelphia on Saturday.  The Toronto loss drops Columbus into a first place tie with KC (although the Crew does have one game in hand).  Philadelphia is four points behind and Houston is five points behind.  Despite the Crew's winning record, their goal differential for the year is now -1 (33 to 34).

If the Crew doesn't end this September swoon, they may find themselves out of first place by the end of this week and out of the playoffs by the end of this month!
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #462 on: September 15, 2011, 05:21:27 PM »
Warning: Watching the Crew play in September may cause shortness of breath and heart palpitations!  The Crew had a bizarre game last night.  A game that was heavily influenced by the ref. 

First, the ref's actions worked against the Crew.  In the 11th minute, Ekpo's hand slapped into the face of an on-rushing Houston player at midfield.  It looked violent, but unintentional - usually netting a yellow card.  Instead, Ekpo received a red card ejection.  So the Crew would be one man down for the majority of the match.  Houston scored their first goal on a leaping header in the 34th minute.

Then, the ref's actions helped the Crew in the second half.  In the 64th minute, Houston was called for a handball in the box.  Mendoza converted the PK to tie 1-1.  In the 76th minute, a Houston defender kicked Duka in the chest on a clearance attempt in the box.  Another PK awarded and converted by Mendoza to give the Crew a 2-1 lead.  But playing one man down, the Crew couldn't hold the lead.  Houston scored a tying goal in the 86th minute. 

Thus ending the rollercoaster ride of a game in which the Crew looked they would lose - then looked like they would win - only to finish with a draw. 

HOUSTON VS. COLUMBUS - 9/14/11 GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Crew 2, Dynamo 2: Beating the odds - Despite playing a man down and allowing the first goal again, East leader earns one point

The draw does earn each team a point and moves the Crew back into first place in the East (at least for the moment).  Quick turnaround as Columbus (11-9-8) travels to Philadelphia (8-7-12) on Saturday.
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #463 on: September 20, 2011, 11:56:06 AM »
After the overly exciting Wednesday night game, maybe the Crew felt their supporters needed a more sedate match against the Philadlphia Union on Saturday night.  Well, they got it.  And a loss. :-(

I agree with Coach Warzycha who said (in the Dispatch article linked below) "It should’ve been a 0-0 game”.  But Philadelphia scored the game's only goal in the 32nd minute.  The Crew defender filling in for an injured Chad Marshall allowed Philadelphia’s Sebastien Le Toux to get behind him off a sweet set up pass.  Goalkeeper Hesmer had to go agressively for the save.  Le Toux quickly but calmly edged the ball past Hesmer before Hesmer could get to him.  Union wins 1-0.

PHILADELPHIA VS. COLUMBUS - 9/17/11 GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Union 1, Crew 0: Crew offense fizzles; East race tightens

Despite the loss, the Crew retained first place in the East.  But the Eastern Conference tightened up considerably.  Kansas City is only one point behind Columbus in second place.  Philadelphia is now only two points behind Columbus - but has one game-in-hand.  Philly is in a third place tie with Houston - but Houston has played 30 games vs. Columbus' 29 games and Philly's 28 games.

Columbus (11-10-8) hosts the MLS-best L.A. Galaxy (16-3-10) on Saturday.
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #464 on: September 27, 2011, 01:57:49 PM »
Despite facing the best-in-MLS LA Galaxy last Saturday, the Crew had the advantage.  LA was playing their third game in eight days (one in Costa Rica).  Of LA's three big stars (Beckham, Keane & Donovan) only Donovan would be available.  The game was a 21,000+ sellout with a blackout-the-galaxy theme.

The Galaxy made a classy move by allowing former Crew captain and fan favorite Frankie Hejduk to start and serve as the Galaxy’s captain for the game.  After an uneventful first half and a halftime match of Mascots vs. Star Wars characters (there was a Star Wars DVD promotional tie-in), the second half heated up.

Donovan entered for the Galaxy in the 62nd minute.  Renteria entered for the Crew in the 65th minute.  Renteria started to put more pressure on the LA defense and the Crew generated shots-on-goal.  The best chances coming from Mendoza in the 85th minute and Rogers in the 86th minute during one-on-one challenges with the LA goalkeeper.  The LA keeper also turned away a short-range blast from Renteria in the 89th.

But the decisive goal started in the 91st minute when Donovan blasted a medium-range shot that Crew keeper Hesmer blocked.  But because of the shot's power, the deflection bounced wide left toward an on-rushing LA player who got around a Crew defender.  The LA player knocked it into the open goal.  LA wins 1-0.

LOS ANGELES VS. COLUMBUS - 9/24/11 GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Galaxy 1, Crew 0: Slumping Crew loses in stoppage time

While LA is flying high in the Western Conference, the Eastern Conference is now tied up into a big knot.  The loss drops Columbus into a second place tie with KC at 41 points with four games left for both teams.  Houston moved into first place with 42 points but only three games left.  Philadelphia is in third place with 40 points but five games left.

The three guaranteed MLS playoff spots from the East are all up for grabs.  Wednesday features a battle of second place teams when Columbus (11-11-8) travels to Kansas City (10-9-11).
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #465 on: September 30, 2011, 11:17:07 AM »
The Crew's epic September swoon continues.  The Crew travelled to Kansas City for a battle for first in the East.  With both teams tied in second, the winner would vault into first.  It started badly for the Crew.  In the 15th minute, Marshall took down a KC forward in the box.  KC converted the penalty kick to take a 1-0 lead.  The Crew tied it up in the 35th minute on great through ball from Rogers to Renteria that he blasted into goal.

After a back-and-forth second half, Kansas City got the decisive goal in the 74th minute.  Crew defender Julius James tried to clear a KC throw-in from the sideline.  Instead, James headed the ball into the Crew’s net.  The Crew had a late chance to tie when Mendoza got the ball one-on-one against the KC goalkeeper in the 85th minute.  But the KC goalkeeper came out strong and punched Mendoza's shot out-of-bounds.

KANSAS CITY VS. COLUMBUS - 9/28/11 GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Sporting Kansas City 2, Crew 1: Loss drops fading Crew into third place

After a Philadelphia win last night, the Crew have now dropped to fourth place in the East.  KC is first with 44 points.  Philly is second with 43 points (and one game-in-hand).  Houston is third with 42 points.  And Columbus is fourth with 41 points.  The Crew are 0-5-1 in their last six matches.

Columbus (11-12-8) hosts their final home game of the regular season Sunday against D.C. United (9-9-11).
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #466 on: October 04, 2011, 11:34:42 AM »
The Crew's September swoon didn't follow them into October.  But it didn't start out very promising.  Team captain and central defender Chad Marshall was a late scratch with a left ankle injury.  Danny O’Rourke took Marshall’s spot on the backline.  The first goal of match went to D.C. through the middle in the 37th minute.

The second half turned the Crew's way.  In the 48th minute, a Crew centering pass in the box was own goaled by a D.C. defender to tie the game.  Then, in the 60th minute, O'Rourke passes to Miranda down the right side.  Miranda shoots a crossing pass into the box toward Eddie Gaven.  Gaven makes a fantastic diving header to get the Crew's second goal of the game.  This was Gaven's first game back after an eight-game injury absence.  And the Crew definitely has missed his presence.

The Crew needed to hang on for the win.  United midfielder Andy Najar unleashed a couple of blasts in the closing minutes. The first was saved by Crew keeper Hesmer in the 84th minute, who lost his handle on the ball but corralled it back before a trailing player could get to it.  The second Najar blast hit the crossbar in the final minute of stoppage time.  Crew wins 2-1.  A beautiful afternoon, a large 15,500+ crowd and an entertaining win in the last home game of the regular season.

WASHINGTON D.C. VS. COLUMBUS - 10/2/11 GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Crew 2, D.C. United 1: Gaven gets Crew back on course

Columbus sorely needed the win to keep in the tight MLS East playoff race.  Kansas City is still first in the East with 45 points.  Columbus is tied with Philadelphia at 44 points.  Houston has 43 points.  Philadelphia has one game-in-hand over KC, Columbus and Houston.

After a bye week, Columbus (12-12-8) will travel to New England (5-14-12) on October 15 and Chicago (7-8-16) on October 22.  And then the MLS regular season will be over.
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #467 on: October 15, 2011, 09:46:22 PM »
Columbus topped the New England Revolution to clinch their fourth straight MLS playoff berth.  The Crew clinched it in a very satisfying way too.  Mendoza got the first goal in the 31st minute off an astroturf bouncer headed on by Renteria that Mendoza left footed past the goalkeeper.  Duka scored his first ever MLS goal on a fortunate deflection from a Revs defender and a smokin' shot in the 59th minute.  Mendoza closed the scoring with his second goal of the night in the 63rd minute off a sharp Renteria cross that Mendoza blasted home for a 3-0 victory.

NEW ENGLAND VS. COLUMBUS - 10/15/11 GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Crew 3, Revs 0:  Playoffs?? Yes, Playoffs.

Despite clinching a playoff spot, the Crew still have some work to do in their final regular season game.  With one game remaining in the Eastern Conference for all teams, KC and Philly are tied for first place with 48 points (KC holds the goals scored tie-break advantage).  Columbus is third with 47 points.  Houston is fourth with 46 points. 

The Crew could still win the East with a win and a non-win result from KC and Philly.  But, more importantly, a win would assure a third place or higher finish in the East for the Crew.  This would clinch a first round bye in the 2011 new-look MLS playoffs.  A lower than third place finish means the Crew would need to play a wild-card play-in match.  A tie or loss for the Crew and a win for Houston do just that.

The final regular season game for Columbus (13-12-8) is at Chicago (8-9-16) next Saturday, October 22.
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #468 on: October 24, 2011, 05:58:26 PM »
The Crew's up and down regular season ends on a downer.  The Crew gets dropped by Chicago 3-2 on Saturday.  This combined with a Houston win on Sunday means the Crew finished 4th in the East.  Because they failed in finish in the top 3, they now must play a wild-card elimination match against the Colorado Rapids.

The Crew will place at Colorado, 10 p.m. EST Thursday.  If the Crew loses - they are knocked out of the MLS playoffs.  If the Crew wins - they will play either Kansas City or Los Angeles on Sunday back at Crew Stadium in the first leg of a two-game, home-and-home, total-goal series.

This wild-card game at Colorado couldn't be much worse for the Crew.  They will be travelling on short rest; to play at altitude; at a location they are 3-11-4 with a 2-0 loss this year and a 1-0 playoff loss last year; without Ekpo - who picked up a red card in the Chicago game and is suspended for the Colorado game.  Oh, and the forecast calls for a winter storm to blow through Colorado the next two days and for a below-freezing Thursday game time temp.  Yippee!
« Last Edit: October 24, 2011, 06:00:01 PM by Columbo »
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Offline Columbo

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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #469 on: October 28, 2011, 09:15:02 AM »
The Crew lost 1-0 in frigid Colorado last night.  Colorado scored with mere seconds remaining in the first half.  The Crew had more offside calls than scoring chances.  Season over. :-P
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #470 on: November 15, 2011, 09:57:54 AM »
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #471 on: November 22, 2011, 10:18:23 AM »
Some more off-season news for the Crew.  This time about the up-coming expansion MLS expansion draft for the newest franchise in Montreal.

MLS: Crew doesn’t protect Mendoza
By Adam Jardy, The Columbus Dispatch
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 4:53 AM


Designated player Andres Mendoza, the Crew’s leading scorer and highest-paid player, is among 19 players left unprotected for this year’s expansion draft.
(. . .)
Montreal will have 10 selections in the draft on Wednesday and can select one player from each team.  Although teams have until the end of the month to exercise options on roster players, Crew technical director Brian Bliss is hoping that no Crew names are called.  The team has lost players in each of the past five expansion drafts.
(. . .)
The 11 players protected are Rich Balchan, Dilaver Duka, Eddie Gaven, William Hesmer, Julius James, Chad Marshall, Sebastian Miranda, Emilio
Renteria, Robbie Rogers, Tony Tchani and Bernardo Anor.

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/sports/2011/11/22/crew-doesnt-protect-mendoza.html
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 10:18:57 AM by Columbo »
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #472 on: November 27, 2011, 01:22:40 PM »
The Crew lost a player in the MLS expansion draft - but it wasn't Mendoza.  Defender/midfielder Josh Gardner got picked by Montreal.  Gardner started 21 games (out of 34 total MLS games) with 2 goals and 2 assists for the Crew last year.  Mostly as a defender when injuries stuck the Crew's back line last year.  Tough to lose yet another player via the expansion draft for the Crew - but Gardner was more of a depth player than a primary starter.  The Crew just need defender Shaun Francis to be healthy next year.  Below are some reports from multiple sources:

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: MLS: Crew loses Gardner in expansion draft

MASSIVE REPORT: Offseason Prompts Players and Staff Exits

THE CREW: Columbus down a man as Gardner packs for Montreal
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #473 on: November 30, 2011, 09:03:48 AM »
The Crew announced they will not be re-signing Andres Mendoza, their leading goal scorer for last season, and Jeff Cunningham, who became the MLS career goal scorer last season. 

Cunningham leaving was not a surprise.  He is a classy team player who has had a tremendous MLS career.  But time had clearly caught up to him.  And after Cunningham scored his two goals to set the career goals record with his original MLS team, he was little used.

Mendoza leaving is a little more of a surprise - but not really.  Though Mendoza led the Crew with 13 goals last season, he never meshed with the team or the fans.  Though the 13 goals look impressive, he scored half of those on PK's.  Plus, he probably missed twice as many makeable scoring chances and probably led the league in offside calls.  In other words - Mendoza hurt the offense as much as he helped it.  Combine that with his diva attitude and his designated player status which allowed for a team high $595,000 salary - and the Crew justifiably felt that this money could be better spent elsewhere.

Below is an article from the Dispatch and MLS about the Crew parting ways with Mendoza and Cunningham:

DISPATCH: Crew: Cunningham, Mendoza not coming back

MLS: Mendoza heads the list of roster casualties in Columbus
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 09:14:58 AM by Columbo »
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #474 on: February 05, 2012, 11:39:37 AM »
The Columbus Crew have opened up their training camp and are prepping for the 2012 MLS season.  The Crew made a number of roster moves - but nothing like the huge roster overhaul of last year - this year is closer to a tweeking than a rebuilding.  The biggest moves involved the departures of Robbie Rogers to England as well as Andres Mendoza and Emmanuel Ekpo to parts unknown.  Just as big was the non-departure of team captain and two-time MLS Defender of the Year, Chad Marshall, who got a contract extension to 2015.

The Crew roster additions were led by two international signings in 31-year-old Chilean midfielder Milovan Mirosevic and 26-year-old Costa Rican forward Olman Vargas.  On the day before the MLS Draft, the Crew signed University of North Carolina forward and Ohio native Ben Speas to a homegrown player contract (a move that bypasses the draft).  With the 10th pick in the first round of the MLS Draft, the Crew picked NCAA player of the year runner-up, Creighton forward Ethan Finlay. 

Tony Tchani, a highly touted forward acquired from Toronto last year, was also expected to positively impact this year after recovering from knee surgery.  The good news is Tchani's knee feels fine.  The bad news is the rest of him doesn't.  Tchani has reported to camp after battling what he described as a mystery illness that prevented him from training during the offseason and sent him to the hospital in December with headaches, stomach pains and swollen lymph nodes.

But overall, the Crew looks pretty deep at the midfield and forward positions with all of the above roster additions and with Duka and Renteria hopefully staying healthy this season.  Lots of pieces for Coach Warzycha to use in improving last year's weak offensive output.  Meanwhile, last year's strong defense and goalkeeping has been retained.

Below are links to articles about the above listed roster moves:

MASSIVE REPORT BLOG: Massive turnover heading into 2012?

DISPATCH: Marshall’s contract extended to 2015

DISPATCH: Midfielder Mirosevic a boost to Crew's offense

DISPATCH: Costa Rican adds more scoring punch

DISPATCH: Crew gets a boost by signing Ohio native Speas

DISPATCH: Rogers departs Crew

DISPATCH: Crew’s top pick showed scoring touch in college

DISPATCH: Crew adds four more players via draft

DISPATCH BLOG: Tchani Still Battling Illness

DISPATCH COMMENTARY: Michael Arace commentary: Crew’s moves create stir
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Offline dmerkow

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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #475 on: February 05, 2012, 08:48:10 PM »
I'm chopping at the bit for the season to get going.

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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #476 on: February 17, 2012, 02:11:36 PM »
The Crew looks to be addressing their on the field issues with all of their off-season moves.  Now the Crew is looking at addressing their off the field issues.  As was enumerated by the Dispatch, those issues are threefold:  (1) jersey sponsor, (2) selling stadium naming rights and (3) eclipsing sales of 10,000 season tickets.  The team is probably closer to the 10,000 season ticket sales goal than the stadium naming rights goal.  But they took one of those three issues off the table.

Dispatch:  Crew announces new, five-year jersey sponsorship

The Crew: Crew and Barbasol strike jersey partnership - Barbasol, America’s No. 1 shaving cream brand, will be featured on all Crew uniforms




One of surprising things about the sponsorship (to me anyway) was that the international brand Barbasol is owned by a Central Ohio company headquartered in Dublin.  Which explains why Barbasol advertises at Blue Jacket games and why they heavily advertise on the local ESPN sports radio station.  Who knew?
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #477 on: February 20, 2012, 10:36:18 AM »
Just had to post a copy of this Barbasol ad from yesterday's Sunday Dispatch.  Full page on the back of the sports section.

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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #478 on: February 20, 2012, 10:49:41 AM »
And as for the Crew's on field news - it looks like the team is unlikely to add a designated player before the season starts.  Though they didn't rule out adding a DP during the summer signing window.  Below is an article about it from the Dispatch:

Crew’s plans for designated player on hold
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Re: Columbus Crew Discussion
« Reply #479 on: February 23, 2012, 10:37:00 AM »
Confirmation about Fox Sports Ohio broadcasting the Crew this year from the Massive Report blog:

Crew To Be Seen on Fox Sports Ohio
by Patrick Guldan on Feb 22, 2012 - 11:00 PM EST

Clark Hunt announced at the fan forum tonight that the Columbus Crew made the long rumored switch to Fox Sports Ohio for this year's TV contract.  All games will be shown in HD across the FSO coverage area.
(. . .)
This is a big change from the team's deal with ONN. Picture quality was poor throughout ONN's contract and the station was not available in all markets in Ohio or on any satellite provider.  The Crew is now on a station that is sports outlet with a high profile throughout the state.

MORE: http://www.massivereport.com/2012/2/22/2817949/crew-to-be-seen-on-fox-sports-ohio
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