Crew View: Lost victory an eerie reminder

Columbus' draw against FCD isn't the first time a win got away

Columbus' draw against FCD isn't the first time a win got away

Photo Credit: 
Robert Mora (Major League Soccer)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Points to ponder after the Crew
snatched a tie from victory when FC Dallas scored in the third minute of
added time on Saturday in Pizza Hut Park.

Been there,
done that:
Former Crew striker Jeff Cunningham scored in the
first half but was countered by Adam Moffat’s tally in the 52nd minute
and Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s follow of his saved penalty in the
82nd. Just as the Crew thought they had their first road game of the
season wrapped up poor clearances, bad bounces, questionable officiating
and a wicked shot off the foot of Eric Avila shot gave the home side an
improbable point.

The match eerily resembled the 1-1 tie at Los
Angeles last May down to the long, well-placed strike for the equalizer
by the Galaxy’s Eddie Lewis in stoppage time. Schelotto put the Crew
ahead in that one, too, and defender Danny O’Rourke was shown red in
each.

In the LA match, it was a second yellow in the run of play
in the 90th minute. O’Rourke was booted Saturday for abusive language as
many of the Crew voiced their displeasure at referee Jasen Anno for
allowing a quick restart and missing a possible handball in the seconds
leading to Avila’s marker.

Not so good bye: After
opening the season March 27 with a thorough 2-0 win over Toronto FC,
the Crew credited their two-game CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal
series for making them sharp. Following the tie at FC Dallas in which
the Crew was feeble in the first half and had only one corner kick for
the game compared to 10 vs. TFC, the talk was of losing an edge because
of the bye week.

“Not playing last week had something to do with
that, not getting into a rhythm,” midfielder Adam Moffat said. “The
first game had rhythm but this one took a little while to get going. We
played better the second half and had some chances. Once you get into
the rhythm every week and get into the flow of things you’ll see it get
better.”

FC Dallas also had two weeks in between games. The Crew
have another open weekend before hosting MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake
on April 24.

Atiba the Hun?: Crew coach Robert
Warzycha is unlike many coaches in that he is not afraid to call out
opposing players. Last season, he chastised Seattle Sounders defender
Tyrone Marshall for accusing Crew forward Steven Lenhart of elbowing him
that led to Marshall retaliating and drawing a red card.

“If you
get a red card and you did something stupid, just be a man and admit
it,” Warzycha said at the time of Marshall.

Warzycha’s venom is
now directed toward FCD forward Atiba Harris after Crew midfielder Eddie
Gaven had to leave the match with a blood-gushing split lip following a
meeting with Harris’ elbow. It’s the third time Harris has felled a
Crew in the past 53 weeks.

“He gave Chad [Marshall] a concussion
when he played for Chivas,” Warzycha said. “He says he never does
anything on purpose and he always cuts somebody open. The last time we
were here he just killed [Shaun] Francis and he’s still injured.”

A
Harris elbow forced Marshall from the game with facial lacerations a
year ago when Harris was with Chivas USA. Marshall, who missed the final
two months of the 2007 season because of concussions, sat the next
match due to reoccurring headaches from the hit.

Francis, a
rookie defender, severely sprained his left ankle following a tackle by
Harris during a preseason match on March 20.

In memoriam:
While Philadelphia Union coach Peter Nowak decided to coach
against D.C. United from the Lincoln Financial Field press box because
of Saturday’s plane crash in Russia that killed Polish president Lech
Kaczynski and 96 others, including some of Nowak’s friends, Warzycha
decided it was best to be on the sideline.

The Crew coach said he
didn't talk to his former Polish national teammate Nowak after news of
the accident.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families and
everybody not only in Poland but outside of Poland because he was our
president,” Warzycha said.

A number of things:
Schelotto made his first eight tries from the spot in MLS play but has
been unsuccessful in the past two. He shot left of goal against Seattle
on Oct. 3 and had his penalty kick saved by Kevin Hartman on Saturday
before heading in the rebound. Schelotto did convert against Toluca in
the Champions League on March 17…

The Crew have started the
season with a win six times but dropped to 0-5-1 in the second match
with Saturday’s draw. Their best start was 2-0-1 in 2003. The other time
they were undefeated (0-0-3) through three was 2007. The Crew (1-0-1)
might want to lose to Real Salt Lake in the next outing pp both those
seasons it failed to make the playoffs.