Crew News & Notes - July 20

First-place Crew welcomes Houston

Chad Marshall against the Dynamos

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

After an impressive home win over New York last Saturday (July 17), the first-place Crew welcomes Houston to Crew Stadium this Saturday (July 24) for the Dynamo’s lone regular season visit to Columbus this year.

Saturday’s match, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m., will be televised live regionally on ONN-TV with Dwight Burgess and Bill McDermott calling all the action and Katie Witham reporting from the sidelines. It will also be broadcast in high definition exclusively to Time Warner Cable Mid-Ohio customers in Columbus on Ch. 1310. The game can also be heard in English on News/Talk 610 WTVN, with Neil Sika and John Bluem behind the microphone, as well as in Spanish on La Mega 103.1-FM, featuring Carlos Cordova and Benny Pietrangelo on the call.

Houston, which currently sits in sixth place in the Western Conference with a 5-7-4 record (19 pts.), enters the match having not playing a MLS regular-season match since a scoreless draw against the Crew on July 10 at Robertson Stadium. Over the last two weeks, the Dynamo have been participating in Superliga 2010, the annual tournament which pits clubs from MLS and the Mexican Primera División. The two rival leagues partnered to organize the competition back in 2007. So far, Houston has played two games in Superliga 2010, a 2-1 win over Pachuca on July 15, and a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA last Sunday (July 18). It will play its third and final match of Superliga group play on Wednesday (July 21), when it hosts Puebla at Robertson Stadium. Houston has been led this season by Brad Davis and Brian Ching, who share the team lead with three goals apiece, while Davis leads the club in assists with six to his credit so far.

The Crew, which currently sits in first place in the Eastern Conference with a 9-3-4 record (31 pts.), enters the match after earning a decisive 2-0 victory over second-place New York, extending the Black & Gold’s lead over the rest of the Eastern Conference. Emilio Renteria got the Crew started in the 20th minute, when Guillermo Barros Schelotto found the Venezuelan forward with a precise through ball into space. Renteria raced toward the goal and unleashed a shot that was grazed by New York goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul, but found the back of the net anyway. The Crew iced the match shortly after the halftime break, thanks to a spectacular goal by Brian Carroll. The play began with a free kick by Schelotto that was eventually headed away by New York defender Tim Ream. The loose ball fell directly to the feet of Carroll, who one-timed a gorgeous strike past Coundoul and into the side netting for his first goal of the season. The only bad news for the Crew in the match was captain Frankie Hedjuk’s red card for a tackle on Carl Robinson in the waning minutes. Hejduk will miss Saturday’s match against Houston while he serves a mandatory one-game red card suspension.

COLUMBUS CREW vs. Houston Dynamo
Saturday, July 24 – 7:30 p.m. (ET) at Crew Stadium
National Television: N/A; Regional Television: ONN-TV (HD on TWC Ch. 1310)
Crew Radio: News/Talk 610 WTVN (English); La Mega 103.1 (Spanish)

SATURDAY IS MILITARY NIGHT AT CREW STADIUM
It will also be Military Night at Crew Stadium this Saturday, as the Black & Gold honors our men and women serving in the Armed Forces. The Marines, Navy, Army National Guard and Veterans Affairs will be on hand in the Crew Kicker Plaza with a number of elements, including a climbing wall. Saturday’s ceremonial coin flip will be conducted by military personnel and the pregame festivities will also include an all-service Color Guard. In addition, the POW flag will be flying at Crew Stadium and a moment of silence will be held prior to the match in honor of POWs still missing in action. The Crew is pleased to partner with Boeing, along with AEP Ohio and Lockheed Martin, to provide tickets to military personnel expected to be in attendance at Saturday’s match. The Crew will also recognize Boeing during a halftime ceremony for its generous donation to Military Night at Crew Stadium.

CREW TO LEARN U.S. OPEN CUP SEMIFINAL OPPONENT WEDNESDAY
The Crew will learn its semifinal opponent in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Wednesday evening (July 21), at the conclusion of the tournament’s final quarterfinal match between D.C United and the Harrisburg City Islanders of the USL Second Division at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md. A Harrisburg victory would bring the City Islanders to Columbus for a semi that would be played on Aug. 31, while a D.C. win would earn it the right to host a final four matchup vs. the Crew on Sept. 1. Chivas USA and Seattle Sounders FC will meet in the other semifinal.

CARROLL SCORES FIRST GOAL OF THE SEASON IN SPECTACULAR FASHION
Crew midfielder Brian Carroll scored his first goal of the 2010 season – and first since Aug. 16, 2008 against FC Dallas – in the Crew’s crucial 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls last Saturday (July 17) at Crew Stadium. The play began with a free kick by Guillermo Barros Schelotto which was eventually headed away by New York defender Tim Ream. The loose ball fell directly to the feet of Carroll, who one-timed a gorgeous strike past goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul and into the side netting. Carroll’s prodigious goal has been nominated for AT&T Goal of the Week for Week 16. Fans can vote for his goal by going to: http://www.mlssoccer.com/content/att-goal-week-vote-now. Voting ends this Thursday (July 22) at midnight ET. Carroll now has four goals in his MLS career, two of which have come since joining the Black & Gold in 2008.

HESMER EXTENDS ALL-TIME CLUB LEAD IN SHUTOUTS WITH YET ANOTHER CLEAN SHEET
Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer recorded his seventh shutout of the 2010 season in the Crew’s 2-0 win over New York last Saturday (July 17), extending his all-time club lead in shutouts to 29. Hesmer currently sits tied for second among MLS goalkeeping leaders in both goals-against-average (0.81 GAA) and shutouts (7), and he sits in fourth place in save percentage (76%) so far this season. Also, Hesmer’s performance against Kansas City on July 14 also earned him a NAPA Save of the Week nomination for Week 16. Fans can vote for his save by going to: http://www.mlssoccer.com/content/napa-save-week-vote-now. Voting ends this Thursday (July 22) at 10 a.m. ET.

SHAUN FRANCIS MAKES MLS DEBUT
Rookie defender Shaun Francis made his MLS debut on Saturday, July 17, vs. New York, coming on in the 57th minute for the injured Brian Carroll. The Jamaican’s 33-minute stint came on the heels of starting assignments in U.S. Open Cup victories over Rochester and Charleston in recent weeks. Francis is in his first professional season, following a three-year collegiate career at Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) during which he captained the Blue Raiders to the 2009 NAIA National Championship.

CREW JUNIORS U19 SQAUD TO PLAY IN US YOUTH SOCCER NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS THIS WEEK
The Crew Juniors U19 men’s team coached by Crew technical director Brian Bliss and Ian Gordona captured the USYSA Region II Championships in late June, propelling the squad to the Under-19 Boys US Youth Soccer National Championships at Overland Park Soccer Complex in Overland Park, Kan. this Wednesday through Saturday, July 21-24, where it will compete for the storied James P. McGuire Cup. The U19 squad begins play on Wednesday, July 21, when it takes on Andromeda 91 Navy (Tex.). The team then faces off against WSM Internationals (Ore.) on Thursday, July 22, before wrapping up on Friday, July 23, against FC Delco Hammerheads (Pa.). The two teams out of four with the most points after three games will then play in the 75th Annual James P. McGuire Cup on Saturday, July 24, which will air live on Fox Soccer Channel at 9 p.m. ET, with Brad Porter and Sasha Victorine calling all the action. Many players on the U19 roster are alumni of the Crew Soccer Academy 15/16 and 17/18 squads from the first two years and are now competing for top universities across the United States.

CREW JUNIORS SUPER-20s WRAP UP PLAY IN USL SUPER-20 LEAGUE, ADVANCE TO FINALS
Thanks to their second place finish (8-2-0, 24 pts.) in the Midwest division of the USL Super-20 League this summer, the Crew Juniors Super-20s, coached by Crew technical director Brian Bliss, will play in the USL Super-20 League Finals next Thursday (July 29) through Sunday (Aug. 1) at Sportscore II in Rockford, Ill. The full tournament schedule will be released once all qualifying teams have been determined.

ANNUAL CREW SOCCER FOUNDATION GOLF CLASSIC SET FOR JULY 26 AT PINNACLE
The Annual Crew Soccer Foundation Golf Classic, benefiting The Buckeye Ranch, will be held next Monday, July 26, at Pinnacle Golf Club in Grove City. Since 1961, The Buckeye Ranch has offered hope to countless children and families who have struggled with emotional, behavioral, and mental health issues. The Ranch is a recognized leader in providing mental health services and has eight locations throughout central Ohio and Hamilton County. Every day, more than 1,800 children and families benefit from the Ranch’s many programs and treatment services. The Crew Soccer Foundation is the Crew’s charitable arm, dedicated to giving back to the community that supports Ohio’s Major League Soccer club, by serving as a catalyst for community investment and development. Leveraging the club’s unique status as the state’s – and region’s – acknowledged soccer leader, the CSF works to advance the sport at all levels and enrich the overall quality of life in central Ohio and beyond, with an emphasis on developing the potential of our area’s young people.

TUNE IN TO CREWXTRA WEDNESDAYS AT 8 AND 11 P.M. ON ONN-TV
This week on CrewXtra, the Crew’s weekly show on ONN-TV, host Beau Bishop will be joined by rookie defender Shaun Francis, TV analyst Dante Washington and Dispatch beat writer Shawn Mitchell at 8 and 11 p.m. CrewXtra is broadcast every Wednesday and 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.