Saturday, April 24, 2010

4/24/2010: Crew vs. RSL Preview


Crew would love to get one over on Real Salt Lake, who knocked them out of the playoffs surprisingly early last season.

After being Champions, Real Salt Lake has had a lackluster start to the year, just like the Crew had last year fulfilling the same Champion role. The Real Boys are an uninspiring 1-2-1 to open up 2010; Salt Lake has played well enough and has hit some posts and have had some hard luck (like two questionable PK's in three minutes against the Houston Dynamo in a loss in their second game of the year).

The Crew haven't been exactly scintillating either in their play. They dispatched TFC 2-0, but it took them about 80 minutes to get those two goals. The Crew should have wrapped that opener up way earlier and should have won by at least four goals. In the Crew's next game, they didn't play well either but almost snuck out with a 2-1 win against F.C. Dallas at their place, before giving up a 93rd minute equalizer. So, the Crew have played two games, they have won at home and tied on the road, and have sort of stunk in both games. So, really you can't complain with the four points so far.

The Sad Pirate

Gino Padula is more then likely to make his first appearance tonight for the Columbus Crew as both Danny O'Rourke (red card) and Eric Brunner (slight concussion) are out for this game. Here is what Padula had to say about his new role as a backup to start out this year:

"To be honest, I'm very sad when I am not playing," Padula said. "I'm very sad because I don't want to be on the bench. I want to play. The last two years, I've played every game (when healthy).

"The last couple weeks have been very hard for me. They make me sad. But we have a coach, and he makes the decisions and you can accept them or not. You ask me how I've been feeling? I feel very bad because I'm not playing. I don't want to lie to you and say I feel great."


If Warzycha is playing things the fair way, he'll give Padula an opportunity to win his spot back with a good performance today. Anyways, I believe, even though O'Rourke has played well on the left, O'Rourke is more serviceable in other positions and were a stronger team in defense with Padula on the backline.

Also, Marshall was having some problems in practice this week so it should be interesting to see what backline the Crew employs today. Just now Mitchell has said Brunner is probable and Marshall is doubtful.

For RSL, Ned Grabavoy and Chris Wingert are out. Also, Robbie Findley and Javier Morales may miss the match.

CREW LINEUP:
--------------Hesmer----------------
Hejduk----Brunner---Iro------Padula
-------------Carroll----------------
Gaven--------Moffat------------Ekpo
-------------Guillermo--------------
-------------Lenhart----------------

PREDICTION: If RSL is without Findley and Morales I think the Crew squeak out a 2-1 win. If RSL has those two in their attack I see a 1-1 tie.

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