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Crew welcome TFC to Columbus


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05/24/2007 4:54PM

Crew welcome TFC to Columbus

MLSnet.com Staff

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7:30 p.m. ET (ClbSN [TD]; CBC)

May 26, 2007 (WEEK 8) / MLS Game #50

Toronto FC hits the road for the first time in more than a month, as they make their first visit to Crew Stadium to take on the Columbus Crew. The visitors used their inaugural four-game run at BMO Field in Toronto to post the first victories in club history, a two-game winning streak ended last weekend by D.C. United. The Crew have won just once on the campaign although they opened the season with a four-game unbeaten run, last weekend crashing to a 4-0 defeat at Giants Stadium to the New York Red Bulls.

REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. SAR (bench): Jose Corro; JAR (opposite): Peter Balciunas; 4th: Brian Hall

MLS Career: 57 games; FC/gm: 31.8; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 13; pens: 21

Games involving Crew: P15 W7 L4 T4; FC/gm: 30.9; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 2; pens: 7

Games involving Toronto FC: first game

INJURY REPORT: COLUMBUS CREW - OUT: MF Jacob Thomas (L calf strain); DF Ryan Junge (R hamstring strain); DOUBTFUL: FW Jason Garey (L groin strain) ... TORONTO FC - OUT: DF Nana Attakora-Gyan (ankle); MF Tyler Hemming (knee); FW Abbe Ibrahim (groin); PROBABLE: DF Chris Pozniak (groin); DF Marco Reda (knee)







ALL-TIME: first meeting

• This is the first ever meeting between the clubs, the first of three on the season. They are next scheduled to meet at Crew Stadium on July 22, with the lone encounter at BMO Field set for Sept. 22.

• Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. TOR: first game ... Mo Johnston v CLB: first game


The Columbus Crew lost for the second time in three starts after a four-game unbeaten run to begin the season, falling 4-0 to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening at Giants Stadium. The Crew have seven points from their seven matches on the season, level with D.C. United in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, a point ahead of Toronto FC and ...


• The Red Bulls were returning to action following a two-week layoff, after seeing their three-game winning streak ended with a late blown lead for a draw then a 1-0 home defeat by Colorado. The Crew were coming off their fourth draw in six games on the season.

• Missing three starters to injury and Jozy Altidore -- away at his high school prom -- John Wolyniec was given the start at forward for the Red Bulls, and quickly made his presence felt. A quick one-two on the right set Dane Richards free, and he put in a low cross to the far post where Wolyniec came in to sweep it home (17).

• After the break, the Red Bulls put the game away. A throw-in from the left was flicked on, and Crew defender Marcos Gonzalez kicked it high into the air, from in front of his goalkeeper. Clint Mathis pulled away and headed the ball into the unguarded goal to double the lead in the 51st minute.

• Ten minutes later, Juan Pablo Angel scored his first MLS league goal. Intercepting a Gonzalez pass across his own penalty area, Angel strolled into the area and sent a shot past Andy Gruenebaum and inside the right post.

• Then in stoppage time, Red Bulls rookie Sal Caccavale completed the rout. Sinisa Ubiparipovic rounded a defender on the right and pulled a pass back for Caccavale who found the back of the net from the corner of the goal area, just four minutes after coming on in his MLS debut.

• The closest the Crew came was late in the second half, after winning a free kick just on the edge of the penalty area. But Guillermo Barros Schelotto saw his effort over the wall dip just a little too late, skimming the top of the crossbar.

• Crew head coach Sigi Schmid made one change to the team that tied Chivas USA 1-1 the previous Saturday at Crew Stadium. Brad Evans made his first start of his professional career, coming in for Eddie Gaven as Schmid's stayed with his three-pronged strike force.

• Here's Schmid's team (4-3-3): Andy Gruenebaum - Frankie Hejduk, Marcos Gonzalez, Ezra Hendrickson, Rusty Pierce - Ned Grabavoy, Danny O'Rourke, Stefani Miglioranzi (Duncan Oughton 59) - Brad Evans (Eddie Gaven 58), Alejandro Moreno, Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Kei Kamara 67). Substitutes Not Used: Bill Gaudette, Robbie Rogers, Danny Szetela, Tim Ward

• "I didn't think it was a 4-0 game. I thought we played all right in the first half. They scored a very good goal but there were periods in the first half that we dominated," Schmid said. "I thought we created chances in the box but it's not resulting in the ultimate shot or even forcing a big save out of the goalkeeper. We were right around the edge but couldn't get there. The second goal took the wind out of our sails a little bit. It was a bad goal, and the third goal was worse. At that point, the game is over."


• After four draws in six matches to begin the season, and having allowed just four goals in their opening seven matches, the Crew were confident of getting a good result in New York.

• "It was just a poor performance," said defender Rusty Pierce "We have four ties, and I think we all feel we could have gotten some wins there. It starts to build a little bit. But we were definitely motivated for this game."

• Since Schelotto has arrived, the Crew have scored just one goal in three games. He was part of that goal, setting up Ned Grabavoy's strike to pull Columbus level against Chivas USA. The Argentinean did hit the crossbar on a free kick effort late in the game.

• "Schelotto is fitting in fine," Schmid said. "He certainly helps us on set pieces. He serves a good ball and we had a number of good opportunities because of it. We took him out when it was 3-0 because there was no need to keep him in there. The embarrassment was enough."

• As well, it was a second game with Alejandro Moreno in attack since his arrival from Houston in a trade for Joseph Ngwenya.

• "Alejandro makes all the difference in the world for our team," Pierce said. "The day he arrived you could tell immediately that he was something we needed. He has the ability to hold the ball and let our midfielders join the attack. That was missing before he arrived. I think once we all start gelling, it will click very well."

• The Crew did win a season-high 12 corner kicks against the Red Bulls, but weren't able to translate that into more than five shots on goal. Still, they outshot New York 13-12.

• "The runs have to be better. We have to be more aggressive and willing to take risks in the box. We reacted to things instead of anticipating what was going to happen," Schmid said. "We needed to force the action. That's the big change we've got to make."


Toronto FC saw their first-ever winning streak come to an end, D.C. United getting a pair of second-half goals to claim a 2-1 victory on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. TFC now has six points from their seven games on the season, falling back into seventh place in the Eastern Conference, a point behind United and the Columbus Crew, who are joint fifth.


• Toronto FC were riding a wave of confidence after two victories over a four-day span -- the first two in club history - while D.C. United were back after a two-week layoff following their first win of the campaign in five outings.

• Once again in front of a rabid, sellout crowd at Exhibition Place, TFC took the lead just before halftime when Alecko Eskandarian scored his first goal with his new club. And, of course, it came against his former club that he led to an MLS Cup. Maurice Edu kept a bouncing ball alive with an athletic backheel, and Eskandarian stroked home a shot from inside the area (44).

• But it was a little good fortune that pulled United level. Christian Gomez whipped in a freekick from nearly straight out from goal, and as Facundo Erpen flashed across the area, his marker, Kevin Goldthwaite, tried to head clear and instead sent it past his own 'keeper for the 52nd-minute own goal.

• After the goal, United head coach Tom Soehn readjusted his team's tactics and his team set up camp in the TFC end. It paid off in the 79th minute when substitute Luciano Moreno, brought on as Soehn went to a 3-5-2, was hauled down by Marvell Wynne in the area, and Moreno stepped up to take the penalty. He easily converted, sending Greg Sutton the wrong way and pulling level with Jason Kreis atop the all-time goalscorers list while also giving United a second win on the trot.

• Toronto FC head coach Mo Johnston made one change to the team that defeated Houston Dynamo 1-0 at BMO Field the previous Wednesday. Danny Dichio returned from suspension and came back into the team in attack, in place of Edson Buddle.

• Here's Johnston's team (4-4-2): Greg Sutton - Marvell Wynne, Jim Brennan, Andrew Boyens, Kevin Goldthwaite - Ronnie O'Brien, Maurice Edu, Carl Robinson, Andy Welsh - Danny Dichio (Andrea Lombardo 72), Alecko Eskandarian (Edson Buddle 60). Substitutes Not Used: Adam Braz, Srdjan Djekanovic, Gabe Gala, David Guzman, Cristian Nunez

• "There was a period in the second half for about 20 minutes I felt we were kind of running in quicksand, then they got the second goal off the penalty and then all of sudden we start coming back into the game and we start throwing bodies forward and we start getting chances," Johnston said. "I'm very disappointed for our guys in there because they left everything on the field today."


• Johnston said that fatigue was a factor for his team's performance in the second half. Saturday's game was the third for Toronto FC in eight days. Still, his players weren't overly disappointed with the final result.

• "You've got to look at the bigger picture," midfielder Carl Robinson said. "Look at the week overall, we've won two games out of three. It was a lot of effort and hard work but it just wasn't our day today."

• For Eskandarian, it was his first goal with TFC, and of course came against his former club. He scored 20 league goals for United from 2003-06, and won MLS Cup MVP honors with a two-goal performance the 2004 Final as United defeated Kansas City. Returning to the lineup after a calf injury, he came off at the hour mark for Buddle.

• "I felt I could've stayed on," Eskandarian said. "I was hoping to play at least 80 [minutes] today because I thought I had another goal in me. But Mo has confidence in the other forwards and we need to get them chances too."

• But then there was stunning news from the club on Tuesday, when Eskandarian was sent to Real Salt Lake in exchange for striker Jeff Cunningham. Cunningham has 93 career league goals, fourth on the all-time MLS list. As well, TFC sent a first-round pick in the 2008 SuperDraft to RSL.

• "I've been after him forever," Johnston said. "He was our No. 1 target since before the season started. It's a pleasant surprise that it finally happened. ... "He's a guy who can score goals day in and day out. He'll probably be the league's all-time top goal scorer before he's done."

• For his part, Eskandarian told The Washington Post the deal was "a huge shock. They called me into the coaches' office this morning and told me. I am definitely disappointed. I felt good here and was really settling in."

• Johnston said he had no problems with Eskandarian's play, and the deal was simply the price of doing business. "To get a guy like [Cunningham] you have to give up someone good," he said. "I'm disappointed to lose Esky, but excited to get Cunningham."

• On Wednesday, Toronto FC played to a scoreless draw with Portuguese giant SL Benfica in the club's first international friendly. After a very quiet opening 45 minutes in front of another near-sellout crowd at BMO Field, perhaps the game's best chance fell to Danny Dichio, but goalkeeper Jose Moreira was equal to the task, making an acrobatic save.

• Here's Johnston's team: Greg Sutton (Srdjan Djekanovic 64), Marco Reda, Jim Brennan, Kevin Goldthwaite, Marvell Wynne (Joey Melo 74), Miguel Canizalez (Adam Braz 47), Ronnie O'Brien (David Guzman 78), Maurice Edu (Cristian Nunez 68), Chris Pozniak (Andy Welsh 58), Edson Buddle, Andrea Lombardo (Danny Dichio 47)

• "We had some chances, they had some chances - I wish there were some goals for the fans, but it wasn't to be tonight," Johnston said. "It's always nice when you see teams come in and play the way they played, because they play with flair - they play with one and two touches. Our guys will learn from that."

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Who writes some of this stuff? The claim that Wynne "hauled down" the DC United player (who they wrongly identify) is bad enough, but they follow that up by claiming that Sutton was sent the wrong way on the penalty. Not the biggest mistakes in the world to make, but not much point in recapping a match if nothing about it is accurate.

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Just surprised no one has said anything about Brennan will not play this match.

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quote:Originally posted by georg




Just surprised no one has said anything about Brennan will not play this match.

Wrong. It just means that he is 2 yellow cards away from a suspension. He will be playing on Saturday.

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Guest Jeffery S.
quote:Originally posted by Massive Attack

I guess its 4 in the MLS. I'm sure the standard is 5 in most Euro leagues. But each league is allowed to set their own amount.

5 yellows in Spain for a suspension.

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