Match of the Year nominee: Homegrowns lead Crew in victory over Stoke City

Second half goals from Horton, Speas push Black & Gold past Potters

TheCrew.com presents its third Match of the Year nominee, the Black & Gold's 2-1 victory over Stoke City on July 24.

Welcoming top-tier European foes to Crew Stadium has become a summer tradition in Columbus. This season, the Crew hosted Barclays Premier League side Stoke City FC to Ohio for an international friendly. Early on in the match, it seemed the Potters were clearly the top side as Jonathan Walters headed Ryan Shotton's cross into the net before Andy Gruenebaum could react early in the first half. However, the Black & Gold showed their fight in the second half as Homegrown striker Aaron Horton equalized in the 71st minute, finishing off Emilio Rentería's sliding endline cross. The Crew found the winner 16 minutes later as Horton's fellow Homegrown Ben Speas blasted a victory strike from the top of the box to edge the Premier League side 2-1.

Match of the Year candidates:

Nominee #1 - May 23, 2012 - Seattle Sounders 0 - Columbus Crew 2 RECAP

Nominee #2 - June 30, 2012 - Columbus Crew 2 - Real Salt Lake 0 RECAP

Nominee #3 - Released November 19

Nominee #4 - Released November 26

Nominee #5 - Released December 3

Nominee #6 - Released December 10

Voting takes place December 12-16. The winning match will be announced on Monday, December 17.