Saturday, April 25, 2009

4/25/09: Crew vs. Chicago Preview


Robbie Rogers is back healthy to join Guillermo and the Crew attack against the still treasoness McBride. New Crew reject Tim Ward joins the Chicago ranks with former Crew reject Jon Busch.

Time: 7:30
Channel: FSC
Records: Chicago- 2 wins and 3 ties
Columbus- 3 ties and 2 losses


Crew expected lineup:
-----------Andy G-------------
O'Rourke--Marshall--Iro--Padula
-----------Carroll--------------
Gaven-----Moffat---------Rogers
-----------GBS---------------
----------Moreno--------------

With Brunner, Zayner, Oughton, Ekpo, Noonan, Lenhart, backup GK/Hesmer on the bench

I would actually go with Brunner over Iro or Zayner but that's just me.

Frankie Hejduk and Will Hesmer are definitely out for this one.

Chicago's Lineup
-------------Busch--------------
-Ward--Prideaux--Soumare--Segares
Thorrington----Pause--------Pappa
-------------Blanco--------------
------McBride--------Nyarko------

Conde is questionable and will likely be replaced by Prideaux. Segares is probable and will likely start.

Positives for the Crew:
--Rest and time to get their heads right. It seems to me that the Crew were just kind of lost in their travels and injuries over the first five weeks. This off week has given them two weeks to focus on the Chicago Fire. The Crew should come out gunning in this one.

--Moffat has received more time in practice and should be near 100% percent now which means we will hopefully see him for a full 90. The Crew seemed to drop off a little against Colorado when Moffat was subbed out because of exhaustion.

The Crew is a different team with Moffat in central midfield.

--Rogers is back and hopefully healthy, Rogers is always an added danger on the wing. Also, if the attack isn't working out by the second half then the Crew have a new option off their bench in Pat Noonan, who is healthy and available for the first time this year.

--A strong crowd is expected with the nice weather and the lower bowl already sold out as of a couple of days ago.

Crew negatives:
--Frankie Hejduk's injury may be more serious then we all thought. He has been gone for quite a while for what seemed to be a small bump in the national team game against El Salvador. It will be crucial for the Crew to get amped without him on the field.

--How will Andy Greunebaum react? Andy G. had a howler last time out. The Crew needs a big game out of him this time to turn their season completely around.

Chicago Positives:

--Strong start has them in a good position where getting three points in this game isn't as important for them, although that could be construed as a negative as well.

--Offense has been on automatic.

Chicago Negatives:
--May miss two defensive starters in Conde and maybe Segares.

--Defense has already been a weak spot the last two games allowing 2 goals against KC late and 3 against San Jose.

--Don't need it as much as Columbus

Surprise:

Former Crew player Tim Ward has resurrected his career after an awful last couple of years with the Crew and not even getting on the field for the lackluster Rapids.

Prediction: 3-1 Columbus
The Crew come out on the prowl at home. There is just too much on the line for them now. They either go on a run now with two rivals back to back in Chicago and Toronto or they never go on a run. It's getting close to do or die, it will be a packed house, and they need to get it done now.

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