News & Notes - May 29

Crew begins quest for 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup vs. Dayton Dutch Lions

The Crew begins its 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quest tonight (Tuesday, May 29) when it takes on the Dayton Dutch Lions of the USL Pro League in a “Battle of Ohio.” The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and an audio and video stream featuring Crew radio man Neil Sika and TheCrew.com’s Cody Sharrett will air live at TheCrew.com.
 
The Black & Gold, unbeaten in its last five games (3-0-2), enters the match on just two days rest after defeating the Chicago Fire, 2-1, in league play Saturday (May 26), behind goals by Eddie Gaven and Emilio Renteria.
 
The Dutch Lions are winless so far this season and are coming off a 2-2 draw against the Rochester Rhinos last Saturday. They are led by forward Gibson Bardley who has two goals and one assist on the season. USL Pro is the third division of professional soccer in the U.S.
 
While this will be the first Open Cup meeting between two Ohio teams since the competition’s modern professional era began in 1995, the Crew and Dayton did meet in an exhibition match in June of 2010 with the Black & Gold winning, 3-0.
 
After reaching the final for the third time in club history in 2010, the Crew exited in the Round of 16 in 2011, dropping a 2-1 decision to the USL Pro’s Richmond Kickers. Crew midfielder Cole Grossman scored his first professional goal in that match.
 
The Black & Gold is looking for its second Open Cup title. The first came in 2002 when Freddy Garcia provided the match’s lone goal in the 30th minute to defeat the 2002 MLS Cup Champion L.A. Galaxy at Crew Stadium.
 
Should the Crew advance tonight, it will face the winner of the Michigan Bucks (PDL) vs. Chicago Fire match in either Pontiac, Mich., or at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., next Tuesday, June 5. The Black & Gold does not return to MLS regular-season action until June 16 at New England.
 
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, which is recognized as U.S. Soccer’s National Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 98 consecutive years dating back to 1914. It is the oldest annual team tournament in U.S. sports history and among the oldest soccer tournaments of its type in the world. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor longtime soccer pioneer and Crew Founder Lamar Hunt.
 
COLUMBUS CREW vs. Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO)
Tuesday, May 29 – 7:30 p.m. (ET) – Crew Stadium
Regional Television: N/A; Crew Radio: N/A
Crew Webcast (audio and video): TheCrew.com (English)
 
ANDY GRUENEBAUM RECORDS 10th CAREER SHUTOUT AND EARNS MLS SAVE OF THE WEEK
Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum is continuing to earn accolades for his excellent form this season. His parry of a Chris Wondolowski penalty kick at San Jose on May 19 was named MLS Save of the Week by MLS fans. On Wednesday (May 23), he earned his career-high fourth shutout of the season – and 10th of his MLS regular-season career – in the Crew’s 2-0 victory at Seattle. For his efforts, Gruenebaum was named to the MLS Team of the Week.
 
CREW JUNIORS U-19s DEFEND STATE CUP TITLE THIS WEEKEND
The Crew Juniors Under-19s, two-time defending Ohio South State Cup Champions, open their title defense this Saturday, June 2, with a semifinal matchup vs. CUP Gold at the Warrior Soccer Complex in Dayton. The final is scheduled for Sunday, June 3, at 10 a.m., also at Warrior. The 19s will once again be coached by Crew technical director Brian Bliss, who led the 2010 group to a McGuire Cup national championship.
 
CREW SOCCER ACADEMY RETURNS TO ACTION THIS WEEKEND
Following a Memorial Day weekend break, the Crew Soccer Academy returns to action this Saturday and Sunday, June 2-3, when the U-15/16s and U-17/18s travel to Michigan to play Vardar and CSA Wolves. On Saturday, they will face Vardar at the University of Detroit Mercy Titan Fields in Detroit, and on Sunday, they will square off against CSA Wolves at Jaycee Park in Livonia, Mich. The Crew Soccer Academy will then close out the U.S. Soccer Development Academy League regular season at home vs. Cleveland Internationals on June 10.

CREW RETURNS TO MLS RESERVE LEAGUE ACTION ON JUNE 10
The Crew continues its run at the MLS Reserve League title next Sunday, June 10, when it hosts the New England Revolution at 10 a.m. at Crew Stadium. The Black & Gold (3-1-0, 9 pts.) is on pace to repeat its phenomenal run in 2011, when it went 9-1-0. The Revs (0-1-1, 1 pt.) will be entering the match after having played against the Montreal Impact this Sunday, June 5. All Crew home reserve games are free and open to the public.