Crew News & Notes - December 8

Duka shines on Generation adidias Tour in Spain

Crew midfielder Dilly Duka is enjoying some personal success on the Generation adidas tour in Spain. On Dec. 2, Duka scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid Castilla, the reserve side of the famed club, then on Tuesday (Dec. 7) he sent a corner kick into the box to assist on Peri Marosevic’s goal for a 1-0 win against Rayo Vallecano reserves.

The Generation adidas team, which includes some of the best young talent in Major League Soccer, concludes its 11-day trip with a match on Wednesday (Dec. 8) against the Atletico Madrid reserves, before returning Stateside on Thursday.

Generation adidas, which was established ahead of the 2005 MLS season, is Major League Soccer's youth player development program designed to identify and nurture the elite youth soccer talent in the United States. In addition to training and playing on a weekly basis with one of Major League Soccer's 16 professional clubs, Generation adidas players also receive educational grants to further their college education.

FRANCIS, JAMAICA WIN DIGICEL CARIBBEAN CUP
The Jamaican national team defeated Guadeloupe, 5-4 in a penalty-kick shootout, to retain the Digicel Caribbean Cup over the weekend in Martinique. Crew defender Shaun Francis was among other MLS players who helped the Reggae Boyz throughout the tournament. On Nov. 29, Francis tallied his first international goal, the game-winner, in a 2-0 victory over Guadeloupe and continued to earn praise from his teammates, coaches and the local press. In the 53rd minute of the match, Francis headed a Dane Richards cross into the back of the net to give the Reggae Boyz the lead. Francis also played 72 minutes in the semifinal match against Grenada, won by Jamaica 2-1.

CREW YOUTH DEVELOPMENT JUMPS INTO TOP 10 IN 2010 SOCCER AMERICA BEST BOYS CLUB RANKINGS
The Crew’s youth development system was ranked among the top 10 in Soccer America’s annual Best Boys Clubs rankings this week. The Crew is ranked No. 8, jumping 15 spots from No. 23 in 2009. The Crew has the distinction of being the least established program on the list, and only the Chicago Fire – one spot ahead at No. 7 – is ranked higher among other MLS clubs. The Crew’s impressive year was highlighted by national championships at both the Under-19 and U20 levels.

CSA 17/18s STUN BALTIMORE BAYS AT 2010-11 SEASON AT WINTER SHOWCASE IN PHOENIX
The Crew Soccer Academy 17/18s and 15/16s traveled to Phoenix, Ariz., for the U.S. Development Academy’s Winter Showcase last weekend. CSA 15/16 forward Tom Granot scored two goals in 2-1 losses to FC Westchester on Dec. 3 and Cosmos Academy East on Dec. 4., before the 15/16s capped the weekend with a 2-2 draw against the top boys club in the country, Baltimore Bays, behind goals from Mason Zachary and Alexander Ranalli. The CSA 17/18s won two of their three matches. On Dec. 3 they defeated Westchester FC, 2-1, with goals by Khai Celestin and Kyle Culbertson, while on Dec. 4, they suffered a 1-0 loss to the Cosmos Academy East. On Sunday, Dec. 5, the 17/18s capped the showcase with an impressive 4-2 victory over the top-ranked Baltimore Bays, a perennial juggernaut, with goals by Celstin, Culberston, Micheal DiCesare and Rhodes Moore.

SEVEN CSA PLAYERS STILL ALIVE IN NCAA MEN’S COLLEGE CUP, ONE WINS DIVISION III TITLE
The Crew Soccer Academy continues to make its presence felt in the NCAA men’s soccer tournaments again this year, with seven players still competing in Division I and one celebrating the Division III title. Aaron Horton and Alex Obbey helped Top-ranked Louisville defeat UCLA and Matt Wiet, 5-4, on Dec. 4, to advance to the 2010 Men’s College Cup in Santa Barbara, Calif. Horton netted the game-winner in the 89th minute. Akron, with CSA stalwarts Chad Barson, Ben Speas, Thomas Schmitt, Eric Stevenson and Andrian McAdams, defeated California in a penalty-kick shootout on the same day to advance to its second consecutive College Cup. In addition, CSA’s Luke Helmuth won a second consecutive NCAA DIII title with Messiah (Pa.) after defeating Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 4-1, in the semifinals on Dec. 3, and Lynchburg, 2-1 in overtime, on Dec. 5

DON’T MISS OUT ON HOLIDAY PACKS THIS SEASON
Crew Holiday packs are now on sale. With two options available, all packs include a ticket to First Kick as well as an adidas Crew hooded sweatshirt with every seat purchased. Prices are as low as $13 per game with the 18-game plan and $15 per game with the 10-game option. Visit www.thecrew.com for more information.

CREW GEAR STORE HOLDS HOLIDAY SALE
The Crew Gear store, located in the administrative offices of Crew Stadium (One Black & Gold Blvd.), is currently holding a special holiday sale, featuring discounted Crew merchandise and apparel. The sale includes jerseys and jackets, among a host of other items. Visit the Crew Gear store now to take advantage of these fantastic savings, while getting all your holiday shopping done. Crew Gear is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn More >>

CREW SOCCER FOUNDATION ON-LINE HOLIDAY AUCTION LIVE THROUGH DEC. 13
For the first time this year, the Crew Soccer Foundation is holding a an on-line auction in conjunction with the holiday season. Seventeen items are up for bid, the majority of which are signed MLS memorabilia, but autographed Adrian Peterson and Mike Nugent NFL jerseys are also included. To take a look and help CSF introduce the soccer experience to at-risk youth, please visit: Learn More >>

CREW STADIUM AGAIN A COLLECTION SITE FOR ST. STEPHEN'S COMMUNITY HOUSE HOLIDAY FOOD DRIVE
Columbus Crew Stadium is once again serving as a collection site for the St. Stephen's Community House Holiday Food Drive. Crew staff, guests and visitors are invited to drop off donations of non-perishable food until Dec. 15 in the Crew Administrative Offices' main lobby. The Crew is offering a 2010 team signed schedule poster for the first five people who donate 100 or more items. St. Stephen's Community House has been providing vital community services to the Greater Linden area of Northeast Columbus since 1919. The purpose of the Holiday Food Drive is to assist families who find themselves in critical situations during the holiday season, caused or exacerbated by such things as strained fixed incomes, job lay-offs and family illness.

MARK McCULLERS ON CREWXTRA SEASON FINALE THIS WEDNESDAY AT 8 AND 11 P.M. ON ONN
This week on CrewXtra, the Crew’s weekly show on ONN, host Beau Bishop will be joined by Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers and radio man Neil Sika for the season finale at 8 and 11 p.m. CrewXtra is broadcast every Wednesday throughout the season 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.