Thursday, June 21, 2007
I'll work from the back to the front and throw some subs at the end:
Hesmer - 7 - Played very well I thought in his 2nd start of the season. Made a crucial save early in the 2nd half on a Victorine rocket, keeping the game at 0-0.
Hendrickson - 6 - Not playing at 100%, I have to give EZ some credit. KC's winger gave him some problems in the 1st half, but he managed the situation quite admirably.
Marshall - 6 - Chad is starting to look very solid in the back, and I am going to venture a guess that he is becoming more confortable playing alongside Marcos. Very solid from Chad.
Gonzalez - 7 - Another solid performance by Marcos. There is a reason he was named the Crew's MVP last season. Work hard, play solid, and limit the mistakes: that's his game, and he's damn good at it.
Miglioranzi - 8 - I was extremely impressed with Migli in the back. Got forward very well, and scored the eventual winner.
O'Rourke - 6 - Solid performance by Danny. Lost possession a few times, but also managed to stifle quite a few KC attacks.
Oughton - 8 - Duncan's presence in the midfield was exactly what the Crew have been looking for . He played perfect transition between O'Rourke and Grabavoy, and also moved into the attack quite effectively. MotM
Grabavoy - 6 - I have seen Ned play better, and worse. He actually played a little more defensive than I have seen form him so far, but he was effective. Won a few headers over taller defenders, which is alway a plus.
Gaven - 7 - Eddie Gaven, where have you been? This is the guy that we traded Edson Buddle for. Now stick around, and keep playing like you did last night.
Moreno - 7 - Even though he didn't score, Moreno was the hardest working player on the field last night. Running down errant passes, keeping plays alive, etc. This guy embodies what the "Hardest Working Team" is all about.
Schelotto - 8 - Pure class. I will admit that I was wrong about him, and am glad I was. Created quite a few chances on his own, just want to see more selfishness in front of goal on golden opportunities.
Zayner (for Hendrickson, 71') - 6 - Saw his 1st MLS action since being injured for what seems like forever. Did not make any mistakes, and was quite effective in shutting down a few attacks.
Kamara (for Schelotto, 90+') - NR - Not in long enough to have an impact, or to be rated.
I'll put some pre-game thoughts for the LA match sometime before the game for your reading pleasure!
Thanks for stopping by!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
With the lack of updates, I wish I could say that you have missed something, but with only one win, and a good amount of injuries, I would be a liar. That being said, I am still trying to hold out hope for this season, even though my hope has dwindled with every passing game. There have been some flashes here and there of good soccer from our beloved team, but unfortunately, flashes and $5 can get you a latte at Starbucks.
One talking point as of late has been the replacement of Andy Greunebaum in the starting XI with Will Hesmer. I'm not sure if I subscribe to Mr. Schmid's "change it up" theory, especially when the changes need to be made in the middle 3rd of the field, but hey, that is why he gets paid the big bucks and has the shoe deals (and it's another argument for another day). Hesmer didn't look horrible in his first match against the Revs, but what can be expected out of a guy who has seen very limited time in his 3+ years in the MLS? I'm not going to form a solid opinion on the kid yet, I'll give him a few more games, provided Sigi has given him long enough of a leash to last that long.
Another bright spot in the last few weeks has been Alejandro Moreno. Yeah, I know, 2 goals in 2 games, big deal. But before his diving equalizer against New England, I thought he just happened to be in the right place at the right time against Houston. The guy has an incredible work rate, which is something that has impressed me so far, but his finishing outside of the 2 headers has been less than spectacular. Maybe if Guille can keep serving balls to his head, we won't have a problem.
Speaking of our Argentinian friend, I am still not 100% sold on this guy. I know he is saying and doing the right things publicly, but I want to see these things take hold and make something happen on the field. Against New England, he was without a doubt the best player on the field (sorry Adam) but it's going to take more than one game to sell me. Keep playing like you did against the Revs, and you will have one more GBS fan.
Mini-recap is over with for now, let's take a look ahead at this week's games:
Tonight against GAM-less Kansas City:
This game is scary to me, yes KC doesn't have their deadly goal-scorer...or do they? Yura Movsisyan tallied a brace coming off the bench against the Red Bulls, and it would not shock me to see him get the start against the very shaky Crew defense. Speaking of which, the Crew are somewhat depleted due to National team call-ups (wow, it's been a while since that has been said), and the back line will look makeshift at best.
Prediction for the outcome:
Well the Crew need to win games at home, or anywhere for that matter. After last week's 2-goal comeback, I think the team will be hungry to double their win total on the year (sad, I know).
3-1 Crew (Moreno, Gaven, Moreno) (Movsisyan)
Now onto the Saturday game @ Los Angeles against the Gals:
No point in a projected lineup, I'm not that in tune with the future. But I will say, that the Gals looked somewhat decent and threatening against RSL (but then again, who hasn't, and don't answer that or you'll look dumb). With the addition of Xavier and Buddle, I think they are going to start their rise from the bottom. Funny thing is, Kyle Martino scored the game-winner for the Crew in this matchup last season, let's hope history doesn't repeat for the bad guys.
1-1 Tie (Schelotto)(Buddle)
Enjoy this week Crew fans, and eat massive amounts of brats tonight!
Saturday, April 7, 2007
COLUMBUS CREW v NEW YORK RED BULLS
COLUMBUS CREW STADIUM, Columbus, Ohio
7:00 p.m. ET (HDNet; ClbSN; MSG2)
April 7, 2007 (WEEK 1) / MLS Game #3
A pair of Eastern Conference clubs looking to move into the upper echelon of the division face off in their 2007 season opener. The Columbus Crew, just two years removed from a Supporters' Shield-winning campaign, are looking to return to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2004. The New York Red Bulls have Bruce Arena at the helm from the outset this year, a season ago once again reaching the postseason thanks to a near-miraculous final day victory and then pushing D.C. United to the limit before going down to defeat.
REFEREE: Kevin Stott. SAR (bench): Rob Fereday; JAR (opposite): Adam Wienckowski; 4th: Andrew Chapin
MLS Career: 129 games; FC/gm: 26.7; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 36; pens: 27
Games involving Crew: P17 W9 L8 T0; FC/gm: 26.3; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 4; pens: 2
Games involving Red Bulls: P29 W8 L18 T3; FC/gm: 27.2; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 11; pens: 6
INJURY REPORT: COLUMBUS CREW - OUT: DF Jed Zayner (L knee ACL reconstruction); GK Will Hesmer (R Hamstring strain); DOUBTFUL: DF Chad Marshall (concussion); MF Stefani Miglioranzi (L groin strain); MF Danny Szetela (R groin strain) ... NEW YORK RED BULLS - OUT: MF Blake Camp (R ankle sprain); DF Taylor Graham (R hamstring strain); FW Mike Magee (R knee surgery recovery); PROBABLE: MF Markus Schopp (L groin/hip strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (40 meetings): Crew 18 wins (0 shootout), 50 goals ... Red Bulls 18 wins (0 shootout), 55 goals ... Draws 4
IN COLUMBUS: (20 meetings): Crew 10 wins (1 shootout), 29 goals ... Red Bulls 9 wins (0 shootout), 32 goals ... Draws 1
# This is the first of three meetings between the two teams this season, the first of two at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. They next meet on May 19 at the Meadowlands, before concluding their league season set on June 30 at Crew Stadium.
LAST YEAR (MLS):
6/28: NY 0, CLB 0
7/19: CLB 0, NY 2 (Henderson 50; Laventure 90)
8/19: CLB 1, NY 0 (Ngwenya 82)
9/16: NY 1, CLB 0 (Altidore 83)
# A year ago, the Red Bulls claimed the season series, winning two of the four matchups with one draw.
# The Crew haven't won the season series between the club since 2001, when they captured both meetings that season. In the five seasons since, the teams have evenly split their league encounters twice.
# Since Crew Stadium opened in 1999, the Red Bulls/MetroStars have won at least one game in Ohio in each season, except for the 2001 campaign, when they lost on their only visit to Black & Gold Boulevard.
# Bruce Arena has yet to win at Crew Stadium at an MLS coach. His first-ever league match came last Aug. 19, a 1-0 Crew win, in his second game as Red Bulls boss. In his first three years in the league, with D.C. United, his teams faced the Crew at Ohio Stadium, where he won twice in six regular season trips (one by shootout).
# Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. NY: P18 W6 L9 D3 ... Bruce Arena v CLB: P14 W9 L5 D0
After posting the best record in the league in 2004, the Columbus Crew have posted a pair of sixth-place finishes in the Eastern Conference over the last two seasons, now failing to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs in three of the last four years. Sigi Schmid is in his second season in charge of the Black & Gold, with the hope he'll be able to count on a full, healthy squad this season.
# The Crew concluded their preseason with a scoreless draw against the Kansas City Wizards on March 31 in Winston Salem, N.C. Andy Gruenebaum had a shutout for the Crew in a game that saw Columbus have the better of the play in the first half.
# Here Sigi Schmid's team on the night: Andy Gruenebaum, Marcos Gonzalez, Ezra Hendrickson, Rusty Pierce, Frankie Hejduk, Eddie Gaven (Robbie Rogers 74), Ned Grabavoy, Danny O'Rourke, Jacob Thomas (Joseph Ngwenya 46), Jason Garey, Andy Herron (Brad Evans 65)
# The Crew ended the preseason with just one loss in 13 matches - that coming to D.C. United in their preseason opener on Feb. 11. Four victories came against MLS competition, as well as all three draws over the course of the preseason, ending with the tie with the Wizards.
# "We have instilled the mindset that winning is a habit and losing is one as well this preseason," Schmid said to The Sports Network. "We have won (nine) preseason games with only one loss so if we can keep some semblance of that I will be very happy."
# Schmid has said he has great hopes for the Crew not only getting back to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in three years, but also moving well up in the Eastern Conference table, because unlike his first season with the club, the core group of players have been together now and also remained injury-free.
# "Virtuoso is now back for a whole season," Schmid said to The Sports Network. "He joined us in midseason (last year) and wasn't really healthy until the last five games. Having Ngwenya here from day one instead of coming in at midseason and having Thomas healthy from the outset will also be a big help. He had to come from playing a European season last year straight into our season and never really got healthy. Eddie Gaven is also here now in preseason instead of joining us right before the season."
# Schmid's major offseason acquisitions were obtaining striker Andy Herron from the Chicago Fire, and Danny O'Rourke, after he was selected in the expansion draft. Schmid expects O'Rourke's ball-winning abilities in midfield to be vital to the Crew fortunes.
# "Ned Grabavoy and Duncan Oughton are here from day one (also)," said Schmid. "Improved play from the middle of the midfield, doing a better job of controlling the tempo of the game and improved offensive production are some things we need to establish."
# Ngwenya came into the final preseason match as a halftime substitute after missing several days following a first-ever call into the Zimbabwe national team. Ngwenya earned his first full cap in a 1-1 draw with Morocco in an African Nations Cup qualifier March 25 in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare.
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls have qualified for the postseason six of the last seven seasons, but just once in club history have they gotten past the first hurdle, in 2000, when they also finished first in the Eastern Division. Bruce Arena has given the club a real makeover, his biggest addition Claudio Reyna, who served as his captain for nearly the entirety of Arena's eight years in charge of the U.S. national team.
# The Red Bulls concluded their preseason with a week in Charleston, S.C. playing in the Carolina Challenge Cup, falling 2-1 to Houston Dynamo on March 31 in the tournament finale.
# Dave van den Bergh put the Red Bulls ahead after just six minutes when he slammed home a loose ball bouncing in the penalty area, but Brian Ching leveled the score in the 70th minute from a perfectly placed Brad Davis cross, the Alejandro Moreno back-heeled home a Dwayne De Rosario pass 10 minutes later to give the Orange the victory.
# Clint Mathis made his return for the Red Bulls in the match, coming on at halftime, barely 24 hours after he was acquired from the Colorado Rapids.
# Dema Kovalenko was sent off late in the first half after receiving a pair of bookings within four minutes, but the Red Bulls returned to 11 men at the start of the second half, playing a man down for just the final three minutes of the first.
# Here's Bruce Arena's team: Ronald Waterreus - Marvell Wynne, Seth Stammler, Carlos Mendes (Hunter Freeman 68), Todd Dunivant - Dane Richards, Dema Kovalenko (Jeff Parke 46), Claudio Reyna, Dave van den Bergh (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 81) - John Wolyniec (Clint Mathis 46), Jozy Altidore.
# The Red Bulls opened the tournament with a 1-0 victory against host Charleston Battery of the USL First Division (second tier), falling to Toronto FC 2-1 in their second game.
# Arena will have some injury decisions to make for the season opener. Markus Schopp is listed as probable after missing much of the preseason to hip and groin injuries. While the former Austrian international is not likely to start, he should play. Dane Richards could start in his place in a wide midfield role.
# Central defender Taylor Graham is out for the Columbus match, while Jeff Parke has also missed out on a large part of the preseason with a hamstring injury. Parke played the second half of the final match in Charleston.
# The addition of Mathis gives Arena another piece to insert what has been a five-man midfield for much of the preseason. Van den Bergh and Schopp are expected to fill wide roles, while Reyna and Kovalenko play centrally, with Mathis possibly also fitting into that scheme. Jozy Altidore or John Wolyniec are slotted in as the lone striker.
# "The one strength of the team is our midfield with Kovalenko, Schopp, Stammler, van den Bergh and me," Reyna said to SI.com. "All of us can create and get a few goals from the midfield. It's up to the forwards to get the goals when they get the chances, but our system is working well and it it's a good one when you have the players who have the understanding to play it.
# Obtaining Mathis for a couple of draft picks caused some surprise around the league, but his return to New York and reunion with Arena could provide a real fresh start.
# "We know the qualities that Clint has as an attacking player. He can score goals, he can set up goals, he can shoot from distance, he's creative, he's a good passer. There's a lot of good things that he has," Arena said. "We're hopeful that in our environment and with him bringing the right attitude, he's going to be a player who can recapture some of these qualities and help make the New York Red Bulls better."
# Said Mathis: "I know I've been written off in the last couple of years, but hopefully I get the confidence back and the will to play like I did while I was here with the MetroStars. I'm looking forward to it, I'm going to a new organization, and it reunites me with a coach here in New York who is a familiar face with me.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Columbus Crew Media Relations & www.mlsnet.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Columbus Crew won the rights to U.S. Under-20 National Team forward-midfielder Robbie Rogers Thursday afternoon in a weighted lottery conducted at Major League Soccer headquarters in New York. The 19-year-old Rogers has been signed to a developmental contract and will not occupy one of the Crew's 18 senior roster spots.
Special lotteries are conducted by the league among interested teams for players who are not eligible to be discovered and who were not drafted. It is the same mechanism by which the Crew won midfielder Danny Szetela's rights on July 22, 2004. All 13 teams participated on Thursday.
"It is always exciting to acquire a bright, young talent the caliber of Robbie Rogers," said General Manager Mark McCullers. "Left-footed players are always a hot commodity and he adds another youth national team player to our roster, joining Danny Szetela and Tim Ward."
Rogers recently secured his release from Heerenveen of the Dutch Eredivisie, with which he had signed in August 2006 following one stellar season at the University of Maryland. He scored seven goals and added five assists on the Terrapins' 2005 National Championship squad, which also featured Crew teammates Jason Garey and Marc Burch. Rogers was named to the All-Tournament team and earned All-America laurels that season.
"It is tremendous to be able to add a young attacking talent who is going to be a mainstay for the U.S. in the upcoming U-20 World Cup," said Head Coach Sigi Schmid. "He is going to provide great speed and excitement to our fans and he'll be a lot of fun to watch."
Rogers played the full 90 minutes of all three games, scoring one goal and adding three assists, in the recent CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament in Panama, through which the U.S. advanced to its sixth-straight FIFA U-20 World Cup. He was a two-time Parade All-American in high school and spent a year in the U-17 residency program.
Single-game tickets for the 2007 home season go sale to the general public on Saturday (March 10) at the Crew Stadium Box Office, all Central Ohio Ticketmaster retail locations, via Ticketmaster phone at 614-431-3600 and on-line at TheCrew.com. Fans can still become Crew Soccer Nation members, as well, by purchasing full-season ticket packages or partial plans. Group tickets are also available for all 15 home games. All ticket packages and plans are available by calling 614-447-CREW and at TheCrew.com.
Founded by Lamar Hunt, the Columbus Crew is Ohio's Major League Soccer club, anchoring a diverse sports and entertainment enterprise. One of the league's Charter Members, it will open its 12th season overall and ninth in first-of-its-kind Columbus Crew Stadium on Saturday, April 7, when it plays host to Claudio Reyna and the New York Red Bulls.
Born: May 12, 1987 (Age 19)
Birthplace: Huntington Beach, Calif.
Acquired: Via weighted lottery on March 8, 2007
Friday, March 2, 2007
Also departing from Columbus are defenders Chris Leitch and Ivan Becerra and midfielder Jose Retiz. Becerra and Retiz each played one season for the club, while Leitch has now completed his second stint in Columbus.
Monday, February 26, 2007