Crew News & Notes - March 1

Crew faces RSL in second leg of CONCACAF quarterfinals

Crew - RSL DL

Photo Credit: 
MEXSPORT

The Columbus Crew travels to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, where it will take on Real Salt Lake in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal on Tuesday (March 1) at 10 p.m. The match will be televised live nationally on FOX Soccer Channel and streamed simultaneously at concacaf.com.

The first leg last Tuesday (Feb. 22) ended in a scoreless draw that saw the Crew holding Real Salt Lake to zero shots on goal. Both teams will be without key players as after RSL defenders Tony Beltran and Nat Borchers as well as Crew forward Emilio Renteria all got ejected in the second half of last week’s match. 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 the weeks of March 14 and April 4.

The Crew reached the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year by finishing second in Group B with 12 points, one behind Santos Laguna of Mexico, while Real Salt Lake topped Group A with 13 points.

This match is only the second time the Crew and Real Salt Lake meet in this competition. Both teams have battled numerous times in regular season, playoffs and U.S. Open Cup. The Crew holds the advantage with an overall record of 8-6-2 in all competitions. In 2010 the teams split the regular season 1-1-0 with the teams winning on their home turf.

The CONCACAF Champions League is the confederation’s annual club championship which features 24 teams from CONCACAF’s three sub-regions: North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The top two teams from each group qualified for the Championship Round. The Final Round, to be held in late April 2011, will also be two-legged, home-and-away.

The eventual champion will qualify for the prestigious seven-team FIFA Club World Cup – which annually pits each continental confederation’s champion against the others – in December 2011.

COLUMBUS CREW at Real Salt Lake
CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals, Second Leg
Tuesday, March 1 – 10 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah
National Television: FOX Soccer Channel
Video Stream: concacaf.com

CREW SOCCER ACADEMY’S SOUDERS WINS U-17 CONCACAF CHAMPIONSHIP
The U-17 National Team, captained NSCAA Youth Player of the Year and Crew Soccer Academy standout Andrew Souders, won the 2011 CONCACAF Championship Tournament on Sunday (Feb. 27), by defeating Canada in a 3-0 overtime match. The team had already punched its ticket for the U-17 FIFA World Cup later this year in Mexico, by defeating El Salvador with a 3-2 overtime win last Tuesday (Feb. 22). The U-17 national team won every match in the tournament and posted three shutouts.

MONDAY MARKS THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF USA V. MEXICO AT CREW STADIUM
Monday, February 28, will mark the tenth anniversary of the historic 2002 World Cup qualifier match between the USA and Mexico at Crew Stadium. The match was dubbed “Guerra Fria (Cold war)” because of the 29-degree game-time temperature at the stadium. The USMNT defeated Mexico 2-0 in the match with goals by Josh Wolff and Earnie Stewart. Crew Stadium also hosted World Cup qualifiers between the U.S. and “El-Tri” in 2005 and 2009. All three matches ended with the same 2-0 result in favor of the home team.

CSA STANDOUT BEN SWANSON SHINES ON ID2 TOUR
Crew Soccer Academy player, Ben Swanson, joined the 2011 US  Club Soccer id2 National Selection International Tour. Since departing the United States on Feb. 17, the team has attended a Celtic vs. Rangers Old Firm matchup, taken in the sights and sounds of Glasgow, and defeated the Celtic F.C. U-14 Academy 3-1 where Ben tallied a goal in the win. On Monday (Feb. 20), id2 defeated Celtic F.C. Community Academy 7-1 in which Swanson scored two goals. The id2 team also played matches at Everton Academy (2-1 Loss) and Manchestery City Academy (4-1 Win) before returning to the United States. The id2 is the development and identification program of US Club Soccer, a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop competitive club soccer in the United States.

SINGLE-GAME TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW
Single-game tickets for all 17 regular-season matches are on sale now, 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. For complete promotional schedule, please visit: http://www.thecrew.com/tickets/2011-promotional-schedule.

CURRENT CYCLE OF CREW SOCCER FOUNDATION REFEREE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM IS COMPLETED
The current cycle of the Crew Soccer Foundation Referee Scholarship Program was completed last Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Sawyer Recreation Center (1056 Atcheson St., 43203). Over 20 referee scholars were certified in classes underwritten by CSF and conducted by the Columbus Area Soccer Officials Association (CASOA). Upon successful completion of the course, CSF also provided a referee kit that consisted of a yellow shirt, black shorts, black socks, whistles, book, yellow/red cards, two flags and a sports watch. After finishing the training and receiving certification, each scholarship recipient will now be assigned to recreational and/or competitive youth matches by CASOA, which will also serve as a resource for questions. All scholarship winners will also be invited to attend a selected Crew game during the regular season to observe an officiating crew in action.