[MLS] The Galaxy’s fall from the heavens has been well-documented yet the ascension of the Crew is a bit more obscure. That may change in the aftermath of a 2-1 Crew win at Philadelphia that pushes Columbus within three points of Los Angeles for the overall points lead. By beating the Union, 2-1, with a pair of Steven Lenhart goals, the Crew improves its Eastern Conference-best record to 11-4-4 and 37 points and creeps within three points of the Galaxy (12-3-4, 40 pts.).
Lenhart replaced an ailing Jason Garey in the 27th minute and got his head to a pair of superb serves – one a precise free kick by Guillermo Barros Schelotto, the other a perfectly curled cross from Emilio Renteria – to offset a penalty kick converted by Sebastien Le Toux. Schelotto triggered Renteria’s run down the right wing with a precisely headed re-direction of a chipped Frankie Hejduk clearance, and Lenhart finished with authority.
Le Toux’s goal, his ninth of the season, moves him into third place behind MLS goalscoring leader Edson Buddle (12) and runner-up Juan Pablo Angel (11).
Philadelphia (4-9-3, 15 points, sixth in the Eastern Conference) is back in action Sunday at Dallas. The Crew next plays Aug. 14 at Real Salt Lake, and begins Concacaf Champions’ League play four days later.
Aug. 5 in Chester, Pa.
Philadelphia 1, Columbus 2. Goals: Le Toux 48+ (penalty kick) : Lenhart (Schelotto) 43, Lenhart (Renteria) 50.
Philadelphia -- Seitz, Arrieta , Califf , Orozco Fiscal, Harvey , Fred ( Jacobson 77). Coudet, Miglioranzi (Kyle Nakazawa 40), Mapp ( McInerney 82), Moreno , Sebastien Le Toux.
Columbus Crew -- William Hesmer , Danny O'Rourke , Chad Marshall , Andy Iro , Emmanuel Ekpo (Leandre Griffit 83), Shaun Francis , Brian Carroll, Frankie Hejduk, Emilio Renteria ( Duncan Oughton 73), Jason Garey (Steven Lenhart 27), Guillermo Barros Schelotto.
Referee: Ricardo Salazar.