Saturday, March 6, 2010

3/7/2010: Crew VS. Toluca Preview


Is it Crewsgiving before Crewsmas against TFC on March 27th or is it the Ides of Crew on March 9th? Whatever the damn Crewish holiday, it's time for some Crew soccer and it is time to bring the noise and the funk. (Pictures by bigsoccer Crew member Scornflakes.)


Well, we wish for snow (cause you know how those Mexicans hate snow) and we don't get it. The temperature for Tuesday is now forecasted to be a balmy 57 degrees as a high with a low of 47, which means a kickoff in the 50's so we might as well get our shorts out for this one. Damn. Then after that all we wish for is a healthy Columbus Crew and our backline has been hitting a injured/yellow card accumulation streak as Crew players are going down like flies to an electric lantern in summer time. Out for the Crew for Tuesday is Zayner, Hejduk, and Marshall (along with the magical Schelotto) which means we'll probably trout out something like the following on Tuesday-

Crew's Starting Lineup For Tuesday (Crewsgiving):
------------------Hesmer---------------
O'Rourke------Brunner----Iro-----Padula
-----------------Carroll---------------
Ekpo--------------Gaven-----------Rogers
--------Herrera----------Renteria-------

In this game the Crew will have to rely on some solid defense from some guys who haven't always been trustworthy for their defense as of late; as last season the rookie Eric Brunner had a tough run at the end of the season, Iro did not get much playing time all season, and O'Rourke rarely ever played as a right back. So, it is a big task to ask them to keep the ball out of the net against such a respected side as Toluca.

The midfield is shaping up much better for the Crew as all big time names in the midfield are back for this one except Schelotto (who will have to miss this big game due to CONCACAF's goofy rule 6.29- go to the massive report type in "6.29" in search for more on that). However, even without Schelotto a starting lineup featuring Carroll, Ekpo, Gaven, and Rogers (possibly Moffat in there as the central midfielder) have a big role to control the midfield. Because if the Crew can control the midfield they may find themselves leaving CCS with a positive result.

Finally, the strike force for the Crew is the only corps on the team left intact as the Crew can pick from Herrera, Renteria, Garey, Lenhart, Dike, and etc. as the starters for this match up. Based on how well Renteria and Herrera linked up against Chivas USA for 3 out of the 4 goals in a 4-1 preseason route, I'm expecting those two to start. If it is Renteria or someone else teaming up with Herrera, Herrera will no doubt get the start and the first chance to prove himself (and endear himself) to the Nordecke faithful. I'm very interested to see what Herrera can bring to the club.

What the Crew need to get out of this contest?

Despite not the best lineup out there for the Crew, they have to play there balls off and get a result in this one. As the Crew need some sort of win to put the pressure on Toluca. The Crew could really use a big win in this one, as we have seen MLS teams squander one, two, or even three goal leads in Mexico after jumping out to a comfortable lead at home.

Sing Your Own Anthem

Since the Champions League for CONCACAF plays there own anthem akin to the European Champions League, the Nordecke will have to substitute that with the "Stars & Stripes." The Nordecke sings that like Carrie Underwood belts out a tune, so we should be set on that ish.

Prediction

Despite being in preseason form compared to Toluca in midseason form. Also, despite missing some of our best players compared to Toluca... I still think the Crew want this one bad. I also have noticed that this Toluca isn't as good as the Toluca of a couple of years back, they have been struggling in the Mexican top division. However, Cruz Azul were struggling as well when they played Columbus (having a Red Bull-esque season at the time) but still demolished us. But, I for some odd reason have a good feeling about this one. I think the players out there can get the job done if they can win the midfield battle. They have a big task on their hands, but they have to use that home field advantage and try to get it done. What the Crew need to do is find a way to win, a way to give themselves a chance to battle it out (with their complete lineup) in Toluca. If they can do that, the Nordecke should be kissing whatever lineup we trot out's feet after 90 minutes on Tuesday.

Score- Columbus 3, Toluca 1
Herrera, Ekpo, Renteria

**Listen to Massive Radio, coming to you with an even more in depth preview tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Man I can't wait to get back into the stadium. Finally seeing what Herrera can do is gonna be great.

    ReplyDelete