Crew News & Notes - January 25

Crew announces first five matches of preseason

Crew begin training at SuperKick

Photo Credit: 
TheCrew.com

The Columbus Crew has announced the dates and opponents for its five exhibition matches in preparation for the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals, which opens on Feb. 22, and First Kick 2011 on March 19 at D.C. All five matches in the Phoenix area will be against MLS teams which are also training in the area, including a U.S. Open Cup Final rematch vs. Seattle and a playoff rematch with 2010 MLS Cup-champion Colorado.

The matches will begin following a week of training against a team that features a trio of former Ohio State University players – Roger Espinoza, Sam Scales and Konrad Warzycha, the son of Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. That match against Sporting KC will be played on Feb. 5

On Thursday, Feb. 8, the Crew will play against the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps, two days before the match against Seattle on Thursday, Feb. 10. On Monday, Feb. 14, the Black & Gold face the Colorado Rapids in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Semifinals. The final match of the Phoenix trip will be on Thursday, Feb. 17, against the Houston Dynamo. Times and locations of the matches are still being finalized.

The Crew will return to Columbus on Feb. 18 to prepare for the first leg of the CCL Quarterfinals against Real Salt Lake on Feb. 22 at Crew Stadium.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS PUNTER PAT McAFEE TRAINS WITH CREW
Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee is training with the Crew this week at the SuperKick/TeamZone facility in Lewis Center. A youth soccer standout, McAfee was a three-time first-team all-conference selection in the sport in high school. The 23-year-old West Virginia University product and Plum, Pa., native was a member of the 2009 Colts squad that participated in SuperBowl XLIV and has seen action in 30 regular-season NFL games in his career.

CREW SOCCER ACADEMY’S ANDREW SOUDERS NAMED NSCAA YOUTH PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Crew Soccer Academy standout Andrew Souders was named 2010 NSCAA/People to People Boys Youth Player of the Year at the recent National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention in Baltimore. The 16-year-old defender from Amherst, Ohio, is currently in U.S. Soccer’s national U-17 residency program in Bradenton, Fla., hoping to be selected to the national team roster that will participate in the CONCACAF U-17 tournament in February. The prestigious award is selected from the 40-man NSCAA/People to People Boys Youth All-America Team.

CSA’S WIL TRAPP NAMED NSCAA HIGH SCHOOL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Another Crew Soccer Academy star was honored in Baltimore as the 2010 NSCAA Boys High School All-America Team was announced at the convention, when CSA and Gahanna-Lincoln midfielder Wil Trapp was named NSCAA High School Player of the Year.  Trapp is also a member of the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team. Considered one of the top recruits in the nation, who has committed to reigning national-champion Akron, he is known for his tremendous work ethic. Trapp was also named to the 40-man NSCAA/People to People Boys Youth All-America Team.

CREW ASSISTANT COACH RICARDO IRIBARREN BECOMES A U.S. CITIZEN
Former Crew defender and current assistant coach Ricardo Iribarren was sworn in as a United States citizen on Jan. 25. Iribarren, a native of La Plata, Argentina, played for the Crew in 1996 and 1998, appearing in 49 matches in Black & Gold. Following successful stints as a coach in the U.S. (USL Pittsburgh Riverhounds) and Mexico (The American School Foundation), Iribarren returned the Crew as an assistant coach prior to the 2009 season.

CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Tickets for the home leg of its CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal series vs. Real Salt Lake are now on sale at the Crew Stadium Box Office, all central Ohio Ticketmaster retail locations, via Ticketmaster phone at 1-800-745-3000 and on-line at TheCrew.com, following the completion of an exclusive pre-sale opportunity being extended to Crew Soccer Nation members. Ticket prices start at $25 for the Feb. 22 match that is slated to kick off at 8 p.m. at Crew Stadium. The second game of the two-game, home-and-home total-goals match-up will be played at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, on March 1. The winner of the series will become the first MLS club to advance to the Champions League Semifinals, where it will face the winner of the Olimpia (Honduras) vs. Saprissa (Costa Rica) series on March 14 and April 4.