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Reserves Help Crew Tie Home Unbeaten Record
Columbus Dispatch, July 20th, 2009 3PM
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Missing half of its starting lineup and most of its goalscoring power because of injury, national team duty or suspension, the Columbus Crew relied on reserves against Real Salt Lake. ForwardsJason Garey and Steven Lenhartcombined for three goals in a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake that extended the Crew's home-unbeaten streak to 18 games.

The Crew tied the MLS record set by San Jose in 2004-05, and also tied San Jose in consecutive games unbeaten at home including playoffs (20). "Getting a record in this league, any record, is hard to do," Crew captain Frankie Hejduk said. "They're hard to break. It's a cool thing to go into these [home] games knowing now that anything less than a win is a disappointment. That wasn't the case here before."

The Crew already owned the regular-season MLS records for consecutive games unbeaten on the road (nine, set in 2004) and overall unbeaten streak (19, set in 2004-05). Of more timely importance was this victory, which kept the Crew (6-3-9) one point back of first place in the Eastern Conference. Lenhart scored his first goal of the season in the 23rd minute. He hammered in a cross from Hejduk that deflected off defender Jamison Olave. Garey notched his second goal of the season in the 31st minute when he banged a ball past Nick Rimando that the Real Salt Lake goalkeeper had punched into Garey's gut. Garey then added another in the second half to cap one of the prettiest plays the Crew has executed this season. He finished off a combination play that he helped start in midfield by receiving a back heel from Lenhart and slotting the ball past Rimando.

 

 

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