Categorized | Match Reports

Columbus’ finds their medicine a bit sour

Posted on 03 June 2010 by jzidar

In 2010 the Columbus Crew have developed the reputation of playing a pretty ugly game of football but still being able to earn points.  There have been numerous times when the final scoreline didn’t match up with the stat sheet.  The Crew have been out shot, out possessed and out defended but still managed to go undefeated over the course of their first eight games. Saturday they faced off against the only other undefeated team in Major League Soccer and were given a taste of their own medicine.







Bench: Gruenebaum, Brunner, Ekpo, Oughton, Garey, Renteria, Herrera

Los Angeles





Bench: Saunders, Cazunba, Leonadro, Klein, Lewis, Mathis, Jordan

The Crew made few changes to the lineup that took three points from Kansas City a week ago. Robbie Rogers and Chad Marshall were spurned by Bob Bradley for the final 23 player World Cup roster and so they resumed their normal positions in the starting lineup. The exclusion of Frankie Hejduk and Danny O’Rourke due to injury led to the reappearance of Gino Padula at left back and with Jed Zayner mirroring him on the right.  Marshall’s usual partner, Eric Brunner, was benched in favor of Andy Iro who has been in top form lately and has 2 goals so far this year.

The LA Galaxy also had a pair of players at camp with the National team, but when the roster got trimmed both Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle had made the final cut.  So far in the 2010 season Buddle (9 goals) and Donovan (9 assists) have been the LA Galaxy attack.  With the two stars away on duty with the US national team it fell to the rest of the Galaxy offense to stand up and be counted.

The match was being touted as ‘The Battle of the Best’ and despite both teams being undefeated the Crew had to be the overwhelming favorites.  With Guillermo Barros Schelotto leading the attack, the return of Rogers and Marshall, the presence of POTW, Emilio Renteria, and the game taking place in Columbus were all factors that tipped the scales in the favor of the black and gold.  But despite having every advantage imaginable the Crew were undone not by one of the many decorated and experienced LA veterans but by two strikes by MLS rookies.

With the exception of a few choice moments the entire match belonged solely to the Crew.  Columbus chalked up a total of 21 shots throughout the course of the match but only managed to place four of them on target.  They earned 15 corner kicks, 6 offside calls and were granted 12 free kicks.  Despite the avalanche of chances the Crew just couldn’t seem to get the ball in the net.

The Galaxy struck early placing its first shot of the game in the back of the net. LA had a been pinned in their end since the kickoff and managed to break away on a quick counter attack that ended with a completely unmarked Michael Stephens scoring off a half volley from 12 yards out.  The galaxy would get another shot exactly ten minutes later before spending the following 67 minutes holed up in their own defensive third.

Robert Warzycha is known to be an attack minded coach and he showed his colors in the 60th minute when he took off a defender and sent on a forward.  He can’t be faulted for pressing for a goal but his first substitution may have also been the dagger that ultimately killed the Crew’s chances to salvage a point.  The Nordecke had been chanting for Renteria since just before the end of the first half and finally their requests were answered.  Padula was the defender that headed to the bench meaning the slower less reliable Andy Iro had to move from the center out to the left side.

Jason Garey came on for Lenhart in the 74th minute and appeared to be the savior when he pounced on a loose Robbie Rogers cross and punched it home.  The goal was immediately called back due to a questionable offside call on Garey.

In the 87th minute Iro made a terrible defensive blunder and was robbed of the ball by Chris Klein in the Crew’s defensive end. Klein took off unchallenged and at the last second passed the ball past the on rushing William Hesmer and across the box to a trailing Tristan Bowen who calmly placed it in the open net for his first professional goal.

Player Ratings

(Scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best)

Hesmer: 6 (Was only challenged three times and made a fantastic save on one.  Couldn’t really do much about the other two)

Zayner: 5 (The worst of the back line throughout the match. Unreliable passing and he left his mark wide open to score on the first goal)

Iro: 6 (Other than the late giveaway that lead to the second goal he had a god game. Almost scored his third of the year but was denied by the post)

Marshall: 6 (A strong presence in the back. 15 corner kicks and the yet the two time defender of the year couldn’t manage put even one in the back of the net let alone on target)

Padula: 7 (The best in the back line during his 60 minutes. Shouldn’t have been the defender to come off for Renteria)

Carroll: 7 (Was a large reason why LA could barely get the ball past the half line. Played solid all evening and distributed the ball well offensively)

Gaven: 7 (Had a fairly quite night. Makes smart runs off the ball and good decisions when he does have it. Is emerging as a leader in the midfield. Moved to the middle when Ekpo came on for Moffat and did just as well as when he was on the wing)

Moffat: 5 (Can’t be faulted for his ‘never give up’ attitude and his 90 minutes of hustle.  His overall play on both sides of the ball continues to remain mediocre at best)

Rogers: 6 (Rogers is a different player with the USMNT than he is with Columbus. Its frustrating to watch him play an inspired 45 minutes against Turkey only for him to return to his usual apathetic self when on the field for the Crew)

Lenhart: 4 (Continues to lack a finishing touch. Admirable for his work rate but a starting striker needs to have more than one goal after a third of the season)

Schelotto: 7 (Timeless. His attempted back heel shot on the lob from Rogers in the opening minutes was almost a moment of pure genius and would have surely won goal of the year. He just can’t do it all alone anymore)

Renteria: 6 (A force to be reckoned with especially when fighting against tired defenders. Looked ineffective up top after having played most of his time this season in the midfield. Perhaps its time he gets the start and a little more time to do his thing)

Ekpo: 6 (Is obviously a better sub than starter as his speed is just too much for exhausted defenders to handle. Improved ball control would go a long way towards making him a reliable scoring threat late in games)

Garey: 5 (Largely ineffective. Scored a goal that was later called back due to him being offside. If he hadn’t fought with Iro and Renteria for that ball and let either of them strike it the game would have been level)

Warzycha: 7 (Made all the right subs at all the right times.  Maybe he needs to spend an entire week of practices just making the entire team work on scoring off corner kicks and set pieces because they’ve clearly lost their touch.  Changes need to be made in the starting forwards because the current pairing isn’t getting the job done)

Referee: Michael Kennedy, Referee Assistants: Claudio Badea and Brian Poeschel, 4th Official: Hilario Grajeda


Weather at kickoff : 82 degrees and clear skies

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