News & Notes - March 22

Black & Gold welcomes MLS expansion Montreal Impact to Crew Stadium for first time

The Columbus Crew hosts the expansion Montreal Impact this Saturday, March 24, in First Kick 2012 at Crew Stadium, marking the 14th such opener at the historic venue. The match is presented by Lifeline of Ohio Donate Life and the first 10,000 fans through the gates will receive a co-branded “Dare to be Massive” scarf.
 
Saturday’s match will kick off at 4 p.m. (ET) and be televised live regionally in high definition on FOX Sports Ohio, with Dwight Burgess and Duncan Oughton calling all the action and Ashleigh Ignelzi reporting from the sidelines. Enhancing the broadcast will be FSOhio’s use of the network’s super slow-motion camera, FOX-MO, and a telestrator for Oughton to analyze and explain key plays and events.

The game can also be heard in English on News/Talk 610 WTVN and on-line at TheCrew.com with Neil Sika and John Bluem on the call, and in Spanish on La Mega 103.1, with Carlos Cordova and Benny Pietrangelo behind the microphones.  

It will be the first of three meetings between the Crew and Montreal as the Impact eases into its first MLS season. Montreal is coming off a record-breaking home opener, in which it drew the Chicago Fire 1-1 last Saturday (March 17) at Olympic Stadium in front of 58,912 – the largest crowd ever for a professional soccer game in the city.
 
The Crew is coming off a bye week, but did not sit idly. The Black & Gold hosted Michigan State and West Virginia University in a pair of exhibitions on Saturday (March 17), dispatching the Spartans 5-1 and edging the Mountaineers 1-0. The Crew will look to bounce back from a 2-0 loss at Colorado in its season opener on March 10.
 
Montreal opened its season in Vancouver on March 10 by dropping a 2-0 decision to its British Columbia rivals and is now 0-1-1 on the season. Under the guidance of head coach Jesse Marsch, the Impact has picked up a number of high-profile players in the offseason including captain Davy Arnaud, who scored the first goal in Montreal’s MLS history, and former Crew defender Josh Gardner in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft; Andrew Wenger, the first overall selection in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft; and former Italian Serie A standouts Matteo Ferrari and Bernardo Corradi.
 
Next up, the Black & Gold begins its quest to regain the Trillium Cup as it travels to Canada to face Toronto FC at BMO Stadium on Saturday, March 31, at 2 p.m.
 
COLUMBUS CREW vs. Montreal Impact
Saturday, March 24 – 4 p.m. (ET) – Crew Stadium
Regional Television: FOX Sports Ohio
Crew Radio: News/Talk 610 WTVN (English); La Mega 103.1 (Spanish)
 
CREW BEGINS DEFENSE OF MLS RESERVE LEAGUE TITLE AGAINST MONTREAL MARCH 24
The Crew will open its MLS Reserve League season on March 24 at Crew Stadium, immediately following the First Kick 2012 match against the Montreal Impact. The Black & Gold are defending Eastern Division champs, having fashioned a league-best 9-1-0 record (27 pts.).
 
CREW SOCCER FOUNDATION FIELD OPENING CEREMONY SLATED FOR SATURDAY PRIOR TO FIRST KICK
An opening ceremony for the new Crew Soccer Foundation Field on the west side of the stadium grounds will begin at 2:45 p.m. this Saturday, prior to the Crew’s First Kick 2012 match vs. Montreal. All fans and media in attendance are invited to attend. The project, completed in partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, MLS W.O.R.K.S., adidas, FieldTurf and Korda, has transformed the area north of the Stadium Club tent into a beautiful synthetic mini-field. Crew Soccer Foundation Field will provide quality recreational outlets and soccer programming for at-risk youth in underserved Columbus neighborhoods. As part of that effort, the Crew Soccer Foundation Heroes League, presented by Lifeline of Ohio, will be launched this summer. The league will emphasize the importance of teamwork, respect, integrity, diversity, perseverance and living a healthy lifestyle.
 
CREW TO HONOR NCAA DIVISION III CHAMPION OHIO WESLEYAN AT HALFTIME ON MARCH 24
The Crew will honor 2011 NCAA Division III National Champion Ohio Wesleyan at halftime of this Saturday’s First Kick festivities. Coached by Dr. Jay Martin, the Battling Bishops went 23-2 en route to winning the second men’s soccer title in school history. Crew Soccer Academy product Travis Wall led the team with 19 goals and 15 assists, including a goal in the 2-1 win over Calvin on Dec. 5, 2011 that captured the crown.
 
CREW SOCCER ACADEMY DROPS MATCHES IN DALLAS
The Crew Soccer Academy traveled to Dallas, Texas, to face FC Dallas Academy and the Dallas Texans over the weekend, as it continues its U.S. Soccer Development Academy season. The U-15/16s fell to FC Dallas, 2-1, on Saturday, March 17, with the lone CSA goal scored by Noah Hutchins, and 2-0 to the Texans on Sunday, March 18. The U-17/18s were shut out, 5-0, by FC Dallas and 2-0 by the Texans. CSA does not have any Development Academy matches this weekend and will return to action on Saturday, March 31, when it travels to Elmhurst, Ill., to face Sockers FC at Elmhurst College.
 
KEVAN GEORGE NAMED TO TRINIDAD & TOBAGO UNDER-23 OLYMPIC QUALIFYING ROSTER
Crew midfielder Kevan George has been named to the Trinidad & Tobago Under-23 National Team’s Olympic Qualifying roster. The Roxborough, Tobago, native impressed the coaching staff at a recent camp in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., including scoring a goal in a 6-1 rout of local club Clarema United. The Soca Warriors will kick off CONCACAF Olympic qualifying on March 23 against Mexico at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.