RECAP: Crew vs. Rapids

Mendoza brace powers Crew past 10-man Rapids

Andres Mendoza

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

Andres Mendoza continued his hot scoring with goals in each half as
the Crew rolled over 10-man Colorado Rapids for a 4-1 victory on Sunday
at Crew Stadium.

After Conor Casey staked the visitors to an early lead, Eddie Gaven
leveled the score before Mendoza slammed a scorcher in the 18th minute
to put the Crew ahead for good. He made it 3-1 in the 48th minute while
the Rapids struggled after Casey was ejected in the 29th minute.

Tommy Heinemann finished the scoring in the 57th minute with his
first MLS goal, putting the game away for the Crew (6-4-6, 24 points).
The win puts Columbus into second in the Eastern Conference, two points
back of Philadelphia with their largest output since a 4-0 win against
New England on Sept. 6, 2008.

Six of Mendoza’s seven goals have been in the past six games to move him one goal shy of the league lead.

It should have been no surprise that Columbus gave up an early goal
or got the man advantage. The Crew have conceded five times in the first
10 minutes of games this season. Meanwhile, an opponent has been sent
off in seven games this season.

Colorado made four changes from a loss to Los Angeles with the most
notable being the return of midfielder Brian Mullan from a 10-game
suspension for a tackle that broke the leg of Seattle’s Steve Zakuani on
April 22.

For the Crew, centerback Andy Iro made his first start of the season because of an abductor in injury to Julius James.

But there was little Iro could do in the 5th minute, when the Rapids
(5-5-7, 22 points) took the lead through Casey. The prolific striker
executed to a perfect snap header from Jamie Smith’s corner kick to put
the visitors up 1-0.

Columbus didn’t take long to overcome the deficit thanks to some egregious passing by the Rapids.

First, Gaven took the ball from Scott Palguta at midfield and went
solo down the right side to the penalty area where he cut right and slid
a shot past the shin of defender Drew Moor to the far netting in the
12th minute. It was Gaven’s second of the year and first since April 1.

Mendoza then took advantage of an errant back pass in the 18th
minute and rocketed an 18-yarder off the crossbar and into the net to
give the Crew the lead.

The situation got worse for the Rapids with Casey’s sending off. The
forward got around defender Josh Gardner and lunged recklessly for a
50-50 ball near the right post as Hesmer went to the ground. Casey’s
knee slid into the left jaw of Hesmer.

Casey dropped his head knowingly before referee Andrew Chapin had even brandished his red card.

The Crew had one good chance the remainder of the half but Gaven’s strike from 25 yards was stopped by Matt Pickens.

Although the Rapids brought on Jamaican striker Omar Cummings for
his first action since May 4, there was no denying the Crew after the
break. Mendoza was the recipient of the first bit of good fortune.
Defender Chad Marshall’s clearance in front of the goal bounced over
Rapids defender Kosuke Kimura near midfield, and Mendoza raced in alone,
ripping a snap shot from 18 yards.

Heinemann got his chance when Gaven’s cross from the right side
deflected off Tyrone Marshall and fell kindly to Heinemann. His one-time
shot bounced once, but Pickens could only get a piece of the shot and
was forced to watch it trickle in over the line.

Heinemann and Mendoza were subbed shortly thereafter, but unlike the
game on May 28 when Mendoza stormed to the locker room when he was
taken out after scoring twice against Chivas USA, he sat on the bench
the rest of the way on this night.

The Crew next travel to Dallas on Saturday. The Rapids return home for a Sunday evening match against Houston.

Scoring Summary:
COL – Conor Casey 4 (Jamie Smith 2) 5’
CLB – Eddie Gaven 2 12’
CLB – Andres Mendoza 6 18’
CLB – Andres Mendoza 7 (Chad Marshall 1) 48’
CLB – Tommy Heinemann 1 57’

Misconduct Summary:
COL – Conor Casey (red card: serious foul play) 29’
CLB – Tommy Heinemann (caution: reckless foul) 38’
COL – Drew Moor (caution: dissent) 52’

Lineups:

COLORADO – Matt Pickens – Kosuke Kimura, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor,
Scott Palguta – Brian Mullan, Pablo Mastroeni (Ross LaBeauex, 16’),
Jeff Larentowicz, Jamie Smith – Conor Casey, Quincy Amarikwa (Omar
Cummings, 46’).

COLUMBUS – William Hesmer – Sebastian Miranda – Andy Iro, Chad
Marshall – Josh Gardner – Rich Balchan, Emmanuel Ekpo (Eric Gehrig, 85’)
, Eddie Gaven, Bernardo Anor – Tommy Heinemann, Andres Mendoza.

Referee: Andrew Chapin
Referee's Assistants: Greg Barkey; Matthew Kreitzer
4th Official: Hilario Grajeda

Weather: 75 and sunny

Attendance: 10,771

Time of Game: 1:48