Sunday, May 31, 2009

5/31/09: A Good Crew Tie

Columbus starting to find their stride and confidence is starting to build in the fans that the Crew will be up top the standings by the end of the year. Heck maybe by July. (Pic by: Getty Images)

The Columbus Crew had five players out, playing on turf in front of 30,000 opposing fans, without their best player for the first 69 minutes. However, the gamble to rest Schelotto, to go with the other players out, paid off as Noonan made an impact with a beautiful cross in the 12th minute right to Moreno's head for an early 1-0 lead. Crickets cherped at the plastic Qwest Field.

The Crew looked like the better team for most of the game and were unlucky most of the first half to not score again on good opportunties from Emmanuel Ekpo and others. Seattle would get their bearings nevertheless around the 25th minute and started to get a few opportunities that led to a penalty kick in the 32nd minute for Freddie Ljungberg. Everyone where I was standing, at a packed Ruby's basement just after 11 at night, jaws dropped when a penalty was called. "Here we go again, blowing another lead. Too good to be true."

Next thing we knew Freddie Ljungberg, the superstar, whithers under the pressure of facing Andy "The Hebrew Hammer" Greunebaum and doesn't even place the penalty kick on frame. Celebration ensued at Ruby's, it had to be the Crew's night.

After the missed PK, the Crew faced onslaught after onslaught, while making their own chances, until a fortutious ball was lofted by Ljungberg over the Crew defense to Nate Jaqua who fired it home in the 58th minute.

The two teams would battle for the next 35 minutes, with no team looking capable of breaking the deadlock. In the 73rd minute Schelotto was cautioned for a back pass to Andy Greunebaum, which led to a dangerous indirect free kick six yards in the box. Superstar Freddie Ljungberg was off again, and at that point escaping with a point didn't sound that bad at all.

Some Quick Thoughts:
**Danny O'Rourke redeemed himself with a strong performance. O'Rourke was everywhere in the midfield and shut down opposition such as Brad Evans and Freddy Montero. When you mess up you get criticized against LA, when you play an excellent game against Seattle you get praise. O'Rourke deserves praise for filling in(and then some) admirably for Carroll.

I like him there with Brunner and Marshall in central defense until Carroll is healthy again.

**Brunner does not play like a rookie, just as solid as Marshall. I thought the defense did well handling the pressure, even Zayner played well and I didn't think exactly deserved the penalty kick call against Ljungberg. I feel that was your typical superstar call(be it Blanco, Beckham, or Ljungberg) we have seen it again and again.

**Gaven, Rogers, and Ekpo had some opportunities, but we need much more out of them opportunities wise. Also, Ekpo needs to hold onto possession more. This was one of those games where sometimes he looked amazing, and sometimes he didn't. If he could have finished his big opportunity on Keller, Ekpo would be receiving a better grade. Had a much better match on Wednesday.

Rogers looks more like himself though, the blistering shot three minutes in made me figure Rogers would get some more opportunities later. Didn't happen though.

**Noonan should receive more opportunities.

**Warzycha coached a good game.

Overall, a good week gaining the three points at home and getting the tie on the road. I think the Crew has a very winnable next three weeks with Kansas City away(already beat them 3-2 in Columbus), then Chivas at home(a team I think is a bit lucky and overrated, a team I think Columbus can take at home), then a lackluster FC Dallas team away. I think 7 points wouldn't be shocking.


  1. "The Crew looked like the better team for most of the game and were unlucky most of the first half to not score again on good opportunities from Emmanuel Ekpo and others."

    If you insert the "dives" for opportunities, that would sum up most of the Crew offense last night. Ekpo is a disgrace...and Moreno is not much better. If you say otherwise, you are probably a C. Ronaldo fan.

    I dont think that we watched the same game last night, it was a good tie for the Crew for one simple reason. There was no way in hell that the Crew were getting three points in the Emerald City last night.

  2. the missed pk was probably the first lucky thing to happen to the crew this season.

    andy, once again, freezes up. watch every goal scored on him this season. he just stands there frozen and doesnt even try.

    moreno goal was amazing, didnt expect that out of him. i really dont like him but his two goals and assist have been pretty nice.

    glad to see noonan get a fair shake... even more glad he did not disappoint

  3. Anonymous (the second) has it right. Andy was just ball watching. I'm not sure that even Keller would have gotten to that but I don't think the Sounder's goal was unstoppable. Moreno's goal was a thing of beauty. The Crew can be happy with the one point but with a bit more confidence and luck they could have gotten three.