Wednesday, March 10, 2010

3/10/2010: Do The Crew Now Hold The Mental Edge In This Series?

Will there be more dancing for Lenhart, Renteria, and the Crew at Nemesio Diez Riega (Picture by Sam Fahmi, via the Massive Report)?

After a great comeback at home from 2-nil down, done and dusted, the Crew fought back and gave themselves some life for the second half of the series down in Toluca. And, based on the comments of Los Diablos Coach De La Torre combined with Toluca's finding a way not to win (which have been their story as of late in the Mexican Primera as well) the Crew, and especially Lenhart, may now be in the heads of Toluca.

And Lenhart is definitely on the mind of De La Torre:
"He spent most of the game provoking our defenders," de la Torre said. "It's not his fault because the referee allowed it to happen."

That's what a good striker does, such is the Mexican style to complain about any aggressive play.

And more of De La Torre's tears, via Craig Merz:
"There were some questionable calls by the referee to allow a lot of aggression that benefitted them," de la Torre said. "Generally, I'm not one to make comments about the referee's performance but based on tonight referee's performance my players were at risk of injury."

Really? I'm pretty sure I saw just as many Crew players sprawled out as Toluca players at the Stadium last night, which likely means that there were more Crew players at risk for injury since Mexican players usually fake their injuries.

In comparison to De La Torre's tearful comments, I really liked Danny O'Rourke's statements on the game:
"They didn't expect us to come out and pressure them and play physical like that. By no means does anyone on our team play dirty but when guys are coming late in on our guys because they lost the ball or are angry I'm not going to have it," he said. "There's room for physical play but there's no need for coming in late and stepping on people's feet. We let it be known."

"They gave us a little respect. Typically Mexican teams don't have a lot of respect for the U.S. The national team has done well in recent years and that has given us some respect and hopefully MLS advancing in the Champions League will gain us more respect."

Hopefully that respect will be gained in Toluca with a full sided Columbus. Guillermo Barros Schelotto will be ready to go and Frankie Hejduk will be available. Maybe some of the other injuries in defense will heal as well. So, hopefully, Lenhart has another one of these games in him and Guillermo can continue with his form from the second leg against Real Salt Lake. If so, anything is possible. Especially if the aggressive nature of Lenhart and company are into the heads of the Not so Devilish Diablos.


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