"Four weeks adrift, the memories of a late August night in Mexico City still gnaw at a team that prides itself on being prepared to fight through adversity until the final whistle,"
writes MLSnet's Craig Merz. The Columbus Crew, defending MLS Champions, still feels the gutting 5-0 defeat to Mexico's Cruz Azul on Aug. 26. The Crew went down 2-0 in the first eight minutes,
then lost a man in the 30th minute, on a night when the team could do no right.
Although the Crew rebounded after the loss, beating Saprissa 1-0 at one of the most difficult away venues in this hemisphere, the team wants redemption when it hosts Cruz Azul Wedesday (8 pm ET, Fox Soccer Channel, Telefutura). "I don't think (the Saprissa win) takes the sting away," goalkeeper William Hesmer said. "We're still really disappointed in that performance (in Mexico) and hopefully we can look back on that and know when we don't bring our energy, our fight and right attitude that's what's going to happen to us. Talent alone won't win it for us."
Wednesday's return match against Cruz Azul at Crew Stadium gives the Crew a chance to return the favor to Cruz Azul. "It's tough because we went a man down but we didn't play well the first 15 minutes, anyway," defender Jed Zayner said of the Cruz Azul loss. "It definitely stings when you lose that bad. The good thing about the Champions League is it's group play. We can take them on at our place." First-place Cruz Azul leads the Crew by one point in the group. The top two teams in the group advance.