Columbus Crew coach Sigi Schmid has spotlighted New York's experienced overseas contingent as the main obstacle between the Crew and its first MLS Cup title. Colombian striker Juan Pablo Angel, with
16 goals this season, and veteran Dutch midfielder-forward Dave Van den Bergh, with eight, are his opponent's key players, he tells Michael Lewis.
"They're not the only ones, but they're
two of the key guys," Schmid said. "Angel's positioning is very good. He's very composed and relaxed on the ball. He's got very good timing in the air. His timing in the box is good. He's also like a
lot of good forwards -- sometimes they disappear for a little and that's often when they become the most dangerous."
Schmid said that the Kansas City Wizards maybe gave up on Van den
Bergh "too early, but he's fit in New York's system very well. He's able to get his foot around the ball and still curl the ball in into dangerous positions. He does a lot of dirty work as well. He
pops up in different places."
Speaking of players being given up on too early, Schmid praised his own midfielder Eddie Gaven, just turned 22, who was traded to the Crew from New York in
2006 after he failed to meet NY's high demands. "I don't know how you can be washed up at 20 and be the franchise at 18," Schmid said. "Sometimes we throw a lot of expectations on young players'
shoulders. In this league, in particular, a lot of times we stick young players out there in a game before they're necessarily ready." Schmid said Gaven is "much tougher than people think he is. He's
a player who still has a lot of bright years ahead of him."
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