Saturday, August 8, 2009

8/8/09: Matchday 21- Columbus vs. San Jose

The projected lineup according to Warzycha's Thursday musings.

Ch-ch-changes: Expect changes according to Craig Merz's article "Crew Excited About Candlestick Atmosphere":

"Some players look fresher than the other ones," (Warzycha) said.

He could put Danny O'Rourke at right back and insert Adam Moffat into his center midfield spot. Emmanuel Ekpo and Robbie Rogers might be the wingers and there's the possibility of Jason Garey and Alejandro Moreno pairing up top.

Because of these changes expect Brian Carroll to get a break, the guy hasn't gotten a break from the pitch for a while. Even a seperated shoulder wasn't enough for Carroll to take a breather. Another player who could get some rest with these changes is Eddie Gaven. One of the two, either Gaven or Carroll, will make way for the fresher Moffat this game. The reasons for this switch mainly center on keeping the team fresh and healthy going into the Crew's hectic schedule starting in mid August with Champions League.

Quakes new midfield signing Ramon Sanchez.

No Scouting Report: Hopefully Warzycha and the Crew have done their homework on the new San Jose midfield tandem of Ramon Sanchez and Andre Luiz. The El Salvadoran and Brazilian are leading an improved midfield to better things with Luiz playing a part in the tie two weeks ago against DC United and the win over Seattle last week. And, Sanchez being paired up with Luiz in the middle of the park for the huge 4-0 win over a solid Sounders team last weekend.

Yallop is beaming over the duo:
"I think the new players did a good job of not so much making the spectacular play, but keeping the team moving the ball, and being in the right spot at the right time," said Yallop of his midfield duo. "It makes a difference. You have the confidence to play into them and run off of them because they're not going to lose the ball."

San Jose has the confidence after beating Seattle: "In this locker room, we feel things have been coming together the last two weeks," said defender Jason Hernandez. "Now were starting to reap the rewards. Guys are already talking about the next game, so we're looking forward to getting back out there and putting together another good performance."

With spirits on the rise in San Jose, hopefully the Crew are not about to have a similiar letdown akin to this time last year. At the end of July, the Crew beat the Rapids away in both 2008 & 2009. Then in the first week of August 2008 they had an abysimal performance against the old San Jose(Houston Dynamo) the next week. But, won the week after that against FC Dallas on August 16th, 2008 leading to the famous 14-1-1 run to end the season.

So, win or lose this week, the Crew can point to a positive future next week as a win in Colorado, loss away, and win at FC Dallas led to good things in 2008. Nevertheless, last year the Crew didn't have an extra six CONCACAF Champions League games to contend with.

Tonight's MLS matchup is the first to take place at the historic Candlestick Park, home of the 49ers.

The Atmosphere:
The Columbus Crew will have to contend with the biggest crowd that has witnessed the MASSIVE this year, over 60,000 for a doubleheader with Barcelona. The Crew won't likely have another crowd that big this year, unless they make it to the MLS Cup final at Qwest Field, so it's a monumental night for the players.

"Hopefully people will come to see our game, too," Crew coach Robert Warzycha joked.

Many will be there to watch Barcelona vs. Chivas:
"I wonder if Barcelona is going to be watching us before the game because we're definitely going to be watching them. It's going to be a great atmosphere," Crew defender Jed Zayner said.

Prediction: Crew win 2-1 off of goals from Emmanuel Ekpo and Robbie Rogers.


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