First Kick this Saturday

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The two-time defending Supporters'
Shield-winning Columbus Crew will open the 2010 MLS season - its 15th
overall - this Saturday, March 27, when it hosts arch-rival Toronto FC
at
Crew Stadium. First Kick 2010 will also be the first leg of the
home-and-home
Trillium Cup competition between the two clubs.

The
Trillium Cup, which refers to the official flower of the
province of Ontario
and official wildflower of the State of Ohio,
is awarded annually to the winner of the season series between the
geographic
rivals. The Crew - which won the competition in its first two seasons in
2008 and 2009 - is unbeaten against Toronto FC since the club's
inception in 2007, compiling a record of 4-0-5 in nine games against the
Reds.

Saturday's
match, which kicks off at 4 p.m. ET, will
be televised live regionally on ONN-TV, with Dwight Burgess and Bill
McDermott
calling all the action. The game can also be heard in English on
News/Talk 610
WTVN with Neil Sika behind the microphone and on-line at TheCrew.com and
MLSsoccer.com, as well as in Spanish on La Mega 103.1-FM, featuring
Carlos
Cordova and Benny Pietrangelo on the call.

Saturday's
First Kick 2010 festivities will involve
several features, including an exhibition match between the U.S.
Under-17
National Team and the Crew Soccer Academy 17/18s kicking off at 1 p.m., a
SWACO
schedule magnet giveaway (while supplies last), the unveiling of a 2009
MLS
Supporters' Shield winners banner in the stadium's upper northeast
corner and halftime acknowledgment of the Crew's 2009 Trillium Cup
triumph.

The
Black & Gold enters the match after narrowly and
valiantly falling to Toluca FC in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League
quarterfinals on an aggregate score of 5-4. In the series' first match
- at Crew Stadium on March 9 - Toluca FC took the first half leads
thanks to goals by Antonio Naelson and Antonio Rios in the 19th and 45th
minutes, respectively. The Crew then responded with a gritty second-half
performance, as Steven Lenhart tallied strikes in the 66th and 84th
minutes to
end the closely-contested match in a draw.

The Crew
then traveled to Toluca, Mexico
on March 17 for the second match of the series, needing a win or a draw
of at
least a 3-3 to advance to the semifinals. Things looked good early for
the Crew
after a Guillermo Barros Schelotto penalty kick goal in first half
stoppage
time, but Toluca responded with a penalty kick goal of its own just
moments
after the halftime restart and a second tally just 10 minutes later. The
Crew
gave itself life with a second goal by Schelotto in the 70th minute, but
Toluca pulled ahead with a
tally just two minutes later, and after Lenhart was issued a red card in
the
80th minute, the Crew was unable to find the final goal it needed.

COLUMBUS CREW vs. Toronto
FC

Saturday,
March 27 - 4 p.m. (ET) at Crew Stadium

National Television: N/A; Regional
Television:

ONN-TV

Crew Radio: News/Talk 610 WTVN
(English); La Mega 103.1-FM (Spanish)

Crew
Webcasts:

TheCrew.com and MLSNet.com (English)

CREW
TO HOST TEAM MEET & GREET WEDNESDAY
AT THE BIG BANG BAR IN ARENA DISTRICT

In
anticipation of Saturday's First Kick 2010, the Crew
will host a team meet and greet this Wednesday, March 24, from 6 - 8
p.m. at
The Big Bang Bar, where the two-time defending MLS Supporters' Shield
winning Crew will be on hand to interact with fans, sign autographs and
take
pictures. The Big Bag bar is located at 401 Front Street, Suite 95 in
the Arena
District. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the
media
and general public until 8 p.m. After 8 p.m., patrons must be 21 or
older.

CREW
TO HOST FAN FORUM THURSDAY AT CLADDAGH
IRISH PUB

The Crew
will host its annual Fan Forum at the club's Official
Viewing Party Headquarters, Claddagh Irish Pub, located at 585 South
Front
Street in the Brewery District, this Thursday, March 25, from 6:30 -
8:30
p.m. Parking is available in the lot behind Kroger and the lot located
one
block west of Front St. on Sycamore St. (both $3), as well as in the
garage at
the corner of Front St. and Blenkner St. The interactive discussion will
feature a brief outline of the club's current priorities and state of
affairs by President & General Manager Mark
McCullers, as well as a panel including McCullers, head coach
Robert Warzycha and select Crew players, which will be available to
answer
questions.

CSA
17/18 SQUAD TO FACE U.S. UNDER-17 SQUAD SATURDAY AT
CREW STADIUM

The Crew
Soccer Academy
17/18 squad will face the U.S. Under-17 National Team in a youth
friendly prior
to the Crew's First Kick match against Trillium Cup-rival Toronto FC at
Crew Stadium this Saturday (March 27). The match, which kicks off at 1
p.m., is
part of a First Kick doubleheader and fans can gain entry to the youth
friendly
between CSA and the U.S. Under-17s with a ticket to the Crew's First
Kick
match against Toronto FC, which kicks off later that day at 4 p.m. The
match
against CSA is the first in a 10-game tour for the U.S. U-17 National
Team from
March until May, which features matches against five Academy clubs
affiliated
with MLS clubs - including the Crew
Soccer Academy
- and five other Development
Academy opponents. The
wide-ranging tour kicks off the national squad's early stages of
preparation
for the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship and the subsequent 2011 FIFA
U-17 World
Cup. In its most recent action on the field last weekend (March 20-21),
the CSA
15/16s and 17/18s hosted Michigan clubs Vardar and Derby County Wolves
at the Crew's Training
Facility at Obetz. On Saturday (March 20), they faced off against
Vardar, with
the 15/16s winning 3-0, thanks to goals by Chris Davis, Brett Elder and
Alex
Ranalli and the 17/18s also earning a 3-0 victory thanks to strikes by
Kyle
Culbertson, Aaron Horton and Vaughn Spurrier. Both teams took on Derby
County
Wolves on Sunday (March 21), as the 15/16 earned their second win of the
weekend with a 2-1 victory thanks to goals by Davis and Elder, while the
17/18s
fell to Wolves, 4-0.

'UNITED
AGAINST MALARIA' MOBILE TOUR TO VISIT CREW STADIUM THIS SATURDAY

In
partnership with MLS W.O.R.K.S. and Nothing But Nets,
the "United
Against Malaria" mobile tour will visit Crew Stadium this Saturday,
March
27 during the Crew's match against Toronto FC to spread the word about
the program's global goal of ending malaria by 2015. Nothing
But Nets
will be on hand to
collect signatures and educate fans about the program and the "United
Against Malaria" tour will feature an informational tent where fans
receive giveaways, take green screen photos and learn more about the Nothing
But Nets
campaign.

JOIN
THE CREW FOR AUTOGRAPH ALLEY AFTER THIS
SATURDAY'S GAME

Join
Crew players Emmanuel Ekpo, Frankie Hejduk, Adam
Moffat, Danny O'Rourke and Kenny Schoeni after the Crew's match against
Toronto FC this Saturday for Autography Alley in the Stadium Club tent.
Saturday's
match will be the first of 10 Autograph Alley matches this season, as
all five
players will be on hand to sign autographs and interact with fans as the
Crew
continues its long-standing Autograph Alley postgame tradition.

REGULAR-SEASON
SINGLE-GAME TICKETS ON SALE

Single-game
tickets for the Crew's 2010 regular-season
home schedule are currently available at
the Crew Stadium Box Office, all central Ohio Ticketmaster retail
locations, via Ticketmaster phone at 800-745-3000 and on-line at
TheCrew.com
and Ticketmaster.com. Fans can also still become Crew
Soccer
Nation members by purchasing full-season ticket packages or partial
plans,
starting as low as $95 for 5-Packs. Group tickets are also available for
all 15
home games. All ticket packages or plans are available through
TheCrew.com and
614-447-CREW. The Crew's 2010 home schedule features a total of 13
Saturday games - including First Kick 2010, March 27, vs. Toronto FC
- one Sunday match and one Wednesday match.

CREWXTRA
AIRS WEDNESDAY NIGHTS AT 8 AND 11
P.M. ON ONN-TV

CrewXtra,
the Crew's weekly show, airs every Wednesday
at 8 p.m. (and again at 11 p.m.) on ONN-TV. This week, host Beau Bishop
will be
joined by goalkeeper William Hesmer, Crew TV color analyst Dante
Washington and
Columbus Dispatch beat writer Shawn Mitchell. CrewXtra provides viewers
with
in-depth coverage and access to the team every week, including game
recaps,
breakdowns and previews of the upcoming matches, while interspersing
other
news, interviews, discussion and features.