Crew News & Notes - September 23

Crew heads to New England on heels of big win over Santos

Following Tuesday’s huge 1-0 Champions League victory over Santos Laguna of Mexico, the Crew returns to MLS play Saturday night with a trip to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., to face the New England Revolution.
 
Saturday’s match, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET, will be televised live regionally on ONN-TV, with Dwight Burgess calling all the action. It can also be heard in English on The Brew @ 105.7 FM (please note change), with Neil Sika behind the microphone, as well as in Spanish on La Mega 103.1-FM, featuring Carlos Cordova and Benny Pietrangelo on the call.
 
New England, which is sixth in the Eastern Conference, is coming off a 2-2 draw at FC Dallas on Wednesday (Sept. 22) and is still in contention for a playoff spot but faces an uphill battle. Midfielder Marko Perovic leads the Revs in goals with six while perennial MLS Best XI midfielder Shalrie Joseph leads the team in assists with seven. Matt Reis will likely anchor the Revolution’s defense for his 13th start of the season.
 
The Crew, which is pursuing its unprecedented third straight MLS Supporters’ Shield, enters the match on the heels of Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Santos that catapulted it in to first place in Group B with a late goal by forward Andres Mendoza. That followed a 4-0 home loss against the Seattle Sounders on Sept. 18.  The Black & Gold now leads second-place New York by three points in the Eastern Conference standings.
 
A win by the Crew coupled with losses by Seattle at Chicago and Kansas City against FC Dallas would clinch a third straight playoff berth for the Black & Gold.
 
The Crew won the first game of the season series, 3-2 at Crew Stadium on May 8. A stoppage time goal by Robbie Rogers broke the 2-2 tie to give the Crew the win.  The Crew is 26-6-19 all time when facing the Revolution and 12-10-3 when playing at Foxboro.
 
COLUMBUS CREW at NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
Saturday, Sept. 25 – 7:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium
Regional Television: ONN-TV
Radio: The Brew @ 105.7 FM (English); La Mega 103.1 (Spanish)
 
CREW NOW LEADS CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP BY TWO POINTS
The Crew defeated Santos Laguna of Mexico, 1-0, on Tuesday (Sept. 21) with a late goal by Andres Mendoza. The three points put the Crew in first place of group B with a 3-1-0 record (9 pts.) and a two-point lead over Santos with only two games left in group stage. Columbus will travel to Guatemala City on Wednesday, September 29 to face Municipal at 10 p.m. The top two teams in the four-team group will advance to the knockout stage next spring.
 
PLAYOFF PACKAGES ARE ON SALE NOW
As the Crew closes in on its third successive playoff berth, two-game playoff ticket packages will go on sale to the general public this Wednesday, Sept. 22. Each package includes both of the Crew’s potential playoff games – the one guaranteed game in the first round and the Eastern Conference Championship it could host if it advances out of the first round – along with a commemorative scarf. Prices range from $40-$76 for adults and $30-$76 for students, and they will be available to the general public starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Crew Stadium Box Office and all central Ohio Ticketmaster retail locations, via Ticketmaster phone at 800-745-3000 and on-line at TheCrew.com and Ticketmaster.com. The design of this year’s scarf was selected through fan voting at TheCrew.com. Buy now!
 
COUNTRY JAM THIS WEEKEND AT CREW STADIUM
Crew Stadium hosts WCOL’s ‘Buckeye Country Jam 2010’ on Saturday, Sept. 25. Tickets for the 15th annual show, priced at $10 and $20 are still available at all Ticketmaster locations and the Crew Stadium Box office. The show will feature an outstanding lineup of popular country artists, including headliner Gary Allan, Randy Houser, Jerrod Niemann and Thompson Square. Gates will open at 4 p.m. and the show will begin at 5 p.m.

FIRST ROUND OF CREW SOCCER FOUNDATION’S ‘SOCCER AID VIII’ JERSEY AUCTIONS UNDERWAY
The first round of auctions for “Soccer Aid VIII,” a unique, fund-raising program of the Crew Soccer Foundation, are now live (HERE). The exciting program capitalizes on soccer fans’ passion for the sport to raise money for charity through the non-profit arm of Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew, including its primary beneficiary, the Mid-Ohio Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Through its first seven years, Soccer Aid has raised more than $35,000 for JDRF. This year the jerseys reflect a historic theme, in celebration of the club’s 15th anniversary season. Five jerseys will be up for bids during each of three overlapping five-day bidding periods. The auctions can also be accessed through CrewSoccerFoundation.org and TheCrew.com.
 
CREW, SEATTLE TO SQUARE OFF IN LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP FINAL OCT. 5 AT QWEST FIELD; RECORD CROWD ASSURED
With its dramatic come-from-behind 2-1 overtime win at D.C. United Sept. 1 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinals, the Crew returns to the Open Cup Final for the first time since winning the competition in 2002. The Black & Gold will travel to Seattle to face the defending Open Cup-champion Sounders on Oct. 5, in a match that will kick off at 10 p.m. ET and be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel. Advance ticket sales have already surpassed the record attendance for that event, set 81 years ago. More than 22,000 tickets have been sold, surpassing the previous record attendance for an Open Cup Final of 21,583 set in 1929 for a title tilt between the New York Hakoah and Madison Kennel Club of St. Louis. The record in the tournament's modern era, which began in 1996 when Major League Soccer teams joined, is 19,164 for the 2000 final between the Chicago Fire and Miami Fusion. The Sounders earned the opportunity to defend its Open Cup title at home after defeating Chivas USA, 3-1, last week at Starfire Sports Stadium. With its second straight appearance in the Open Cup final, Seattle is looking to become the first team to repeat as champions since the New York Pancyprian-Freedoms accomplished the feat in 1983. The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer and is recognized as the federation’s National Championship. The tournament has crowned a champion for 96 consecutive years dating back to 1914. It is the oldest annual team tournament in U.S. sports history and among the oldest soccer tournaments of its type in the world. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor long-time soccer pioneer and Crew Founder Lamar Hunt.
 
MENDOZA SCORES SEPT. 11 AT L.A., ADDS GAME-WINNER VS. SANTOS LAGUNA TUESDAY
Peruvian international forward Andres Mendoza found the back of the net in his second match, at L.A. on Sept. 11, then scored the game-winner in CONCACAF Champions league action vs. Santos Laguna on Sept. 21. After entering the game at L.A. in the 63rd minute, Mendoza deftly slotted an Andy Iro pass past Donovan Ricketts in the 85th minute. Mendoza started the Sept. 21 match vs. Mexican stalwart Santos Laguna and netted the game winning goal in the 87th minute when he picked up a loose ball in the box and slotted it into the lower right corner of the goal. Mendoza made his MLS debut on Saturday, Sept. 4, at D.C., a day after his signing became official, entering the Crew’s 1-0 victory at RFK Stadium in the 89th minute.