Crew wins in England

[MLS] Adam Moffat scored the lone goal as Columbus beat the Blackburn reserve team, 1-0, at the Blackburn training grounds on Thursday.

Moffat connected from 25 yards out midway through the first half in the first of two games the Crew will play on this week-long trip to England.

Columbus plays the Everton reserves in Liverpool Friday before coming back to the States, and Coach Sigi Schmid used 15 players, with seven going the full 90 minutes and four others each playing one half. Robbie Rogers and Eddie Gaven did not travel to England; they are training with the U.S. under-23 team in Florida and will know Saturday if they've been selected for the 20-man CONCACAF qualifying tournament roster.

Striker Michael Ricketts, once the subject of groundless speculation he could represent the United States, played for the Crew in the first half. He is playing for Walsall on loan from Oldham and is one of more than a dozen non-roster players the Crew has looked at during the preseason. Ricketts' father, Barry, lived in New Jersey for more than 20 years, but like his son is a British citizen born in England.

Schmid and general manager Mark McCullers are still finalizing deals to sign Nigerian Emmanuel Epko and Brazilian Guilherme So, who have been with the team for much of the preseason. So played the first half against Blackburn before being replaced by second-round draft pick George Josten.

The Crew returns to Columbus on Sunday and has just one more match, against Salvadoran club Metapan March 22 at Crew Stadium, scheduled prior to the regular season opener March 29 against the Red Bulls. A trip to New Orleans, where it was supposed to play three matches, has been canceled.

 

 

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