Friday, April 9, 2010

4/9/2010: Crew vs. FC Dallas Preview


The Battle of the Hunt teams commences Saturday (pic by G. Bartram).

The Columbus Crew come into this game with a 2-0 win over TFC, that could have been easily 4 or 5-nil with some decent finishing. FC Dallas, on the other hand, comes into the game trying to get their first win; as FC Dallas had a bore 1-1 draw with Houston in week one of MLS. FC Dallas has one advantage compared to their first game. As Kevin Hartman will likely make his first start of the season for FC Dallas this week and will likely be attempting to make an impression after getting shafted by the Kansas City Wizards during the anti-climatic climax of the CBA offseason drama.

Hartman on his new gig:

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The Crew in this game will be hoping for some better finishing up top. Hartman and company will look to woo Pizza Hut Park with their first win. And, for the Crew to come out on top on the road in this game they'll have to finish and execute much better. Thankfully, the Crew are on the same page, are not satisfied with their finishing, and have tried to remedy the issues between the long bye week.

Crew practice strategy from Gaven, interviewed by Merz-
“The past two weeks we’ve been trying to do better on the last pass. The last game we weren’t sharp in the passing. That was the main problem but I think we’ll do better this week.”


LINEUPS:

THE COLUMBUS CREW-
The Crew should look to make some switches in this game. I would trot out the following lineup-

-------------Hesmer----------------
Hejduk---Marshall----Iro---O'Rourke
-------------Carroll---------------
Renteria------Gaven------------Ekpo
-------------Guillermo-------------
--------------Lenhart--------------

Ekpo and Renteria deserve some minutes over Moffat and Rogers when you look at how Moffat and Rogers played in the last game. And, how well Renteria and Ekpo played in the CONCACAF Champions League. Renteria especially deserves some time on the field. If not in the midfield, then Renteria should be up top in front of Guillermo, as Lenhart didn't exactly have an awesome game against TFC.

If Marshall is healthy enough to start, then he should be starting no matter how well Brunner and Iro have been playing. The return of Marshall would usually mean a backline of Hejduk---Marshall---O'Rourke---Padula. Nevertheless, it appears that the Crew are really happy with O'Rourke and his forward runs at left back and I don't see him moving back to the central defense unless he messes up out there. Therefore, I give Iro the nod in the middle with Marshall. As Iro had too good of a game against TFC to sit him on the bench the game after. Especially since, Iro hasn't always been much on the scintilating side for Columbus during his time here. So, help out his confidence and keep him on the field tomorrow.

fc dallas

---------------Hartman--------------
Pearce-----John-----Davies---Benitez
--------------Hernandez-------------
Dax McCarthy---Ferreira---------Shea
-------Cunningham------Harris-------

Attendance note: People complained with the Crew's 14,000 attendance for their opener. But, almost no one was around to mention the horrible attendance of FC Dallas fans for their inter-state rivalry against Houston, as only a little over 8,000 fans showed up.

Prediction- FC Dallas is a better team than the TFC team the Crew faced in week one. But, I still think the Crew will fix their scoring woes. And, will especially dominate if players that really should be on the field (like Renteria) are on the field. Crew 2, FC Dallas 1- Renteria (30th minute), Guillermo (77th minute), Harris (85th minute)

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