RECAP: Crew vs. Timbers
The Columbus Crew joined the Philadelphia Union atop the Eastern
Conference on 31 points after a 1-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on
Saturday night at Crew Stadium.
The Crew were denied once by a controversial goal line clearance and a
second time by the goalpost, but an apparent own goal by Portland
Timbers defender Mamadou Danso enabled the Crew to claim a 1-0 victory
on Saturday and.
The winning sequence began with a cross from the left flank by Robbie
Rogers into the box to Chad Marshall. He headed the ball to Tommy
Heinemann for a shot that hit the left post past diving goalkeeper Troy
Gaven and teammate Emilio Rentería were there for the rebound and Gaven
was able to get a foot on the ball, which bounced toward the goal line
before Danso’s chest knocked it into the netting.
The goal ended a 259-minute scoreless streak for Columbus and moved the
Crew (8-6-7, 31 points) into a first-place tie in the East although the
Union has played two fewer matches.
In the 60th minute the Crew was denied a goal when referee Andrew
Chapin ruled a header by Marshall was cleared off the line by rookie
Darlington Nagbe even though replays hinted the ball may have crossed
A lackluster first half saw the visiting Timbers come closest to
opening the score. Portland (6-10-3, 21 points) had 10 of the 13 shots
and both shots on goal came on long attempts that were easily handled by
The Timbers’ best effort was a dribbling slalom run and final shot by
Nagbe in the 37th minute that went left of the post. Earlier, midfielder
Jack Jewsbury failed to connect from 22 yards when his rising strike
sailed over the crossbar.
The Crew suffered a blow before the match when goalkeeper William
Hesmer was a late scratch after a test of his strained left quadriceps
ruled him out of the match.
Hesmer, who allowed one goal in the past three games and started every
MLS regular-season match the past two seasons, was replaced by back-up
Andy Gruenebaum, who was making his first MLS regular-season start since
a 1-0 loss at New York on Aug. 30, 2009.
The Crew were also without leading scorer Andrés Mendoza, who suffered a
hamstring injury in Wednesday’s loss at Los Angeles. He was replaced by
forward Jeff Cunningham, who is still tied for the all-time MLS
The Timbers, who were playing in a 4-5-1 formation, gave Lovel Palmer
his debut in a Portland jersey after the Jamaican arrived in a trade
from the Houston Dynamo earlier in the week. He slotted in at right back
and played the full 90 minutes.
Portland returns home Tuesday for an exhibition against Argentina’s Independiente and host Toronto FC on July 30.
The Crew also have a friendly on Tuesday at home vs. English Premier
League side Newcastle United of before traveling to Real Salt Lake on
COL – Own goal (Mamadou Danso) 79’
PORT – James Marcelin (caution: reckless tackle, 78’)
PORTLAND – Troy Perkins – Lovel Palmer, Eric
Brunner, Mamadou Danso, Rodney Wallace – Darlington Nagbe (Peter Lowry,
78’), James Marcelin, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara (Sal Zizzo, 75’) –
Kalif Alhassan, Jorge Perlaza (Kenny Cooper, 46’).
COLUMBUS – Andy Gruenebaum – Sebastian
Miranda (Cole Grossman 78'), Chad Marshall, Julius James, Josh Gardner – Eddie Gaven, Dejan
Rusmir (Kevin Burns, 33’), Emmanuel Ekpo, Robbie Rogers – Tommy
Heinemann, Jeff Cunningham (Emilio Renteria 66’).
Referee: Andrew Chapin.
Referee's Assistants: Chris Strickland, Adam Garner.
4th Official: Allen Chapman
Weather: 85 and partly cloudy.