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
MLS preseason returns to Tucson in 2016    
Ten MLS teams will take part in preseason training in Tucson, Arizona, where the 2016 Desert ...
Ellis calls up Colaprico and Lavelle for first time    
U.S. women's national team coach Jill Eilis called in 28 players -- 20 who went to ...
What They're Saying: Chris Dangerfield    
'We used to go to movies, have cups of tea, strange things you do when you ...
What They're Saying: Tim Leiweke    
"I think we have found a site. It's probably different than what people think we're doing, ...
Video Pick: How Ronaldo gets treated by customs     
Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't seem to have a difficult time getting through customs, as demonstrated by this ...
NASL's Jacksonville banks on Tony Meola    
Hall of Fame goalkeeper Tony Meola, whose previous coaching experience since retiring as a player in ...
Video Pick: Messi proves he's fully recovered    
Lionel Messi, out of Barcelona's starting lineup for two months because of a knee injury, scored ...
Red Bulls' success nets Marsch Coach of the Year honors    
Inexperienced head coaches don't often flourish in MLS, yet in just his second season as a ...
TV Report: El Clasico draws 1.87 million BeIN Sports viewers    
The Real Madrid-Barcelona game on beIN Sports and beIN Sports en Espanol drew a combined television ...
What They're Saying: Rangers manager Mark Warburton    
"I have been delighted with his contribution and the last game he played for Rangers was ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives