Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
RSL favored over Crew in MLS matchup
by Paul Kennedy, February 22nd, 2011 12:03AM

TAGS:  columbus crew, concacaf champions league, mls


[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] The new season has come early -- perhaps too early -- for the Columbus Crew. The forecast is for temperatures to be in the 20s with flurries when the depleted Crew hosts Real Salt Lake Tuesday night (TV: Fox Soccer Channel, 8 pm ET) in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal series.

Real Salt Lake is the heavy favorite in the series, which assures MLS of one team in the semifinals of the regional club championship.

RSL returns its entire starting lineup from the 2010 MLS playoffs, including 2010 Best XI picks Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave and Javier Morales and 2010 Newcomer of the Year Alvaro Saborio, who was elevated to Designated Player status in 2011.

U.S. World Cup forward Robbie Findley signed as a free agent with English club Nottingham Forest, but Saborio's success relegated Findley to a reserve role as RSL coach Jason Kreis preferred Argentine Fabian Espindola as his second striker.

RSL picked up dangerous Arturo Alvarez in the offseason and won the lottery for Cody Arnoux.

On the other hand, Columbus gutted its team.

Guillermo Barros Schelotto
, the Crew's undisputed kingpin, didn't return, and three other starters from the 2008 championship team -- Frankie Hejduk (Los Angeles), Brian Carroll (Philadelphia) and Gino Padula (option declined) aren't back.

Also gone are 10-year veteran Duncan Oughton, Adam Moffat, Jason Garey and Steven Lenhart, who have all contributed in recent years.

To make matters worse, the Crew goalie William Hesmer hasn't recovered from shoulder surgery. With his backup, Andy Gruenebaum, also out of action, former FC Dallas goalkeeper Ray Burse Jr., who played at Ohio State, has been brought in.

The Crew hoped second-year players Dilly Duka and Shaun Francis will get lots of minutes this season, but both are questionable for the RSL game with injuries.

The Crew has signed Chilean defender Sebastian Miranda and hopes to soon add Serbian playmaker Dejan Rusmir; draft picks Justin Meram and Rich Balchan have shown promise in preseason.

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
USA-Costa Rica: Klinsmann sends Johnson packing    
The biggest loss in the tenure of head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has not triggered any immediate ...
MLS Executive of the Year Manning joins TFC    
Bill Manning, the two-time Major League Soccer Executive of the Year, has been named president of ...
What They're Saying: Bill Manning    
"From an outsider's perspective -- and I remember telling this to the [MLSE] board -- for ...
Atlanta United joins Development Academy     
The youth program of Atlanta United, which begins MLS play in 2017, will join the U.S. ...
Video Pick: SKC's Nemeth scores twice in Euro qualifier    
After scoring MLS's Goal of The Week with a terrific solo strike against Portland, Sporting Kansas ...
U.S. Olympic hopefuls in must-win clash with Canada     
Having squandered a chance to clinch a berth at the 2016 Olympics when it fell, 2-0, ...
Crowd Count: Top 20 U.S. soccer crowds (2015)    
The crowd of 93,723 fans for the USA-Mexico game at the Rose Bowl was the largest ...
NASL: Minnesota joins Cosmos and Ottawa in playoffs    
Minnesota United FC clinched a playoff berth for the second straight year with a 2-1 win ...
TV Report: USA-Mexico averages 5.1 million on Univision    
The USA-Mexico match on Univision averaged 5.1 million viewers, the most on any network for a ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"I had a very severe word with Fabian Johnson and I sent him home today. The ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives