Preview: Crew return home to face defensive-minded Chivas
The Columbus Crew and Chivas USA meet for the second time this season as the clubs engage on Saturday night at Crew Stadium. They met April 9 at The Home Depot Center, sharing the points in a goalless draw. The Crew are coming off a lost two-game road trip to the West Coast, while Chivas USA are coming off a loss in the first SuperClásico of the season.
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REFEREE: Jasen Anno. SAR (bench): Corey Rockwell; JAR (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Chris Penso MLS Career: 23 games; FC/gm: 22.8; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 15; pens: 6
INJURY REPORT: COLUMBUS CREW – OUT: MF Danny O'Rourke (L knee surgery); DF Josh Williams (R hip labral tear); FW Santiago Prim (R ankle sprain); FW Emilio Renteria (L quad strain) …
CHIVAS USA – DOUBTFUL: DF Michael Lahoud (concussion); MF Blair Gavin (L hamstring strain); MF Paulo Nagamura (L calf strain); DF Jimmy Conrad (concussion); PROBABLE: FW Tristan Bowen (L ankle sprain); DF Seth Owusu (R knee sprain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: CHV: Marcos Mondaini (through June 4)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CLB: Julius James
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CLB: Kevin Burns … CHV: Zarek Valentin
ALL-TIME (12 meetings): Chivas USA 6 wins, 18 goals … Crew 4 wins, 15 goals … Ties 3
AT COLUMBUS (6 meetings): Crew 3 wins, 9 goals … Chivas USA 1 win, 7 goals … Ties 2
• The teams are meeting for the second time this season, after having played to a scoreless draw April 9 at The Home Depot Center.
• Neither team has won on the road in the series since 2005, Chivas USA’s inaugural season, when the teams split their two games by each winning at the other’s ground.
• Columbus has won the last three meetings at Crew Stadium. Chivas USA had won the four previous meetings at The Home Depot Center before the draw this year.
• Coaches record: Robert Warzycha v CHV: P6 W3 L3 T1 … Robin Fraser vs. CLB: P1 W0 L0 T1
LAST MEETING (MLS):
4/9: CHV 0, CLB 0
• Each goalkeeper made two saves, saving the best for late in the match. In the 74th minute, Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy tipped aside Eddie Gaven's breakaway chance at full stretch.
• Chivas USA nearly took the lead five minutes later, but Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer was well positioned to stop Nick LaBrocca free chance. Hesmer later stopped a last-minute header from Chivas defender Heath Pearce.
• CHIVAS USA (4-1-3-2): Dan Kennedy - Michael Lahoud, Zarek Valentin, Heath Pearce, Ante Jazic - Ben Zemanski - Nick LaBrocca, Marcos Mondaini (Gerson Mayen 68), Jorge Flores (Victor Estupinan 80) - Alejandro Moreno, Justin Braun
• COLUMBUS CREW (4-2-3-1): William Hesmer - Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Julius James, Rich Balchan - Kevin Burns, Dejan Rusmir - Eddie Gaven, Emmanuel Ekpo (Dilly Duka 72), Robbie Rogers - Emilio Renteria (Tommy Heinemann 78)
The Columbus Crew went down to defeat for the second time on their two-game West Coast run, falling 1-0 to the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Jeld-Wen Field. The Crew have 13 points from 10 games on the season, starting the week in a tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
• The game’s lone goal came barely 30 seconds after the second-half restart. Jack Jewsbury took a quick free kick from beyond the right corner of the area to midfielder Kalif Alhassan inside the box. He then floated a cross to the far post where Eric Brunner nodded the ball into the goal.
• Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made two changes to the team that suffered a 3-0 defeat by the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium. Emmanuel Ekpo and Tommy Heinemann came into the team for Kevin Burns and Dilly Duka.
• COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-2): William Hesmer - Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Julius James, Rich Balchan - Eddie Gaven, Dejan Rusmir (Dilly Duka 65), Emmanuel Ekpo, Robbie Rogers - Emilio Renteria (Andres Mendoza 38), Tommy Heinemann (Jeff Cunningham 74).
• At home, the Crew are undefeated, with three wins and two draws. But on the road, they have three losses and two draws in five matches, and have been outscored 8-2.
• “The frustration is not winning games,” Crew coach Robert Warzycha said. “We created chances. We came (to Portland) to play a good game and to go home without the points; it’s something that should hurt.”
• With the shutout at Portland, the Crew have now gone 10 games to start the season without scoring in the first half, setting an MLS record last held by the Houston Dynamo in 2009. The all-time MLS record for consecutive games failing to score in the first half is 15 games, set by New England (2007-08).
• The Crew have been shut out four times this season, and haven’t scored in 203 minutes. Four of their eight goals in MLS play – the lowest total in the league – have come on penalty kicks. “Goals have been hard to come by for us, but I think we’re on the brink,” Tommy Heinemann said.
• Heinemann was given his first career MLS start, after coming off the bench for six appearances, as Warzycha returned to a 4-4-2 scheme, eschewing his regular five-man midfield.
• “I thought it was good for winning balls in the air,” Robbie Rogers said. “It was a very direct game. On that end it was helpful. But I enjoy playing more of a 4-5-1. I like more passing and more movement off the ball. But I think this game called for a 4-4-2.”
• Warzycha will be forced to make a decision this weekend, with forward Emilio Renteria listed as out on the club’s injury report. He suffered a right quad strain midway through the first half in Portland and had to come off after just 38 minutes.
• “I don’t think we deserved to lose,” Warzycha said. “ … We came to play, so we didn’t sit back and just defend. We could have scored a couple goals early. We missed our chances, and then obviously the free kick cost us the game.”
Chivas USA suffered a second 1-0 loss in three games, this time falling to the LA Galaxy in the first SuperClásico of the year on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. Chivas USA have 12 points from 10 games on the season, starting the week in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference.
• The game's lone goal came in the 26th minute. A foul on the left set up a David Beckham free kick, and Chad Barrett was completely unmarked in the box, flicking a header inside Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy's left-hand post.
• Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made one change to the team that defeated the New York Red Bulls on Sunday evening at Red Bull Arena. Andrew Boyens came back from suspension, returning to the back four for Michael Lahoud.
• CHIVAS USA (4-1-3-2): Dan Kennedy - Zarek Valentin, Heath Pearce, Andrew Boyens, Ante Jazic - Simon Elliott - Ben Zemanski, Nick LaBrocca, Jorge Flores (Francisco Mendoza 58) - Justin Braun (Chris Cortez 66), Alejandro Moreno.
• After the loss to LA Galaxy in what was a Chivas home game for the first SuperClásico this year, the rojiblancos now have a better record in road matches (2-1-2) than they do in home matches (1-3-1).
• "We need to possess the ball better and not turn it over. Seriously," Fraser said. "When you turn the ball over, you put yourself under a lot of pressure and a certain number of their dangerous opportunities in the first half came off our turnovers. I just don't think we were sharp enough with the ball. Our lack of ability to possess was our undoing."
• Chivas USA still have not defeated their fellow Home Depot Center denizens since 2007, now winless in 11 meetings in league and MLS Cup play.
• "It kind of shook us a little bit and we weren't able to bounce out of it until the second half," Chivas defender Heath Pearce said. "Obviously in the second half they sat back a little more, and that plays into what we wanted to do. ... but we didn't get anything out of it. At times it's a little too convenient to wait until they allow us to play to start playing.”
• It’s been feast or famine for Chivas USA over the last seven games. They’ve scored eight goals in that time – but been shut out on five occasions. Yet they’ve had two 3-goal games.
• “If we're going to be a team that likes to play, we're going to have to fight first and foremost, but also earn the right to play on the field in the first and second half," Pearce said.
• A win would have put Chivas USA above the .500 mark for the first time since finishing the 2009 season with a 13-11-6 record.
• “The first half was a little how we came out in the first couple games of the season,” said Pearce, “but we’ve come a long way since then and are better team since then. We’re a blue-collar, working team and we know what makes us successful.”
• With Michael Lahoud again sidelined after playing just 30 minutes of the match against New York, Andrew Boyens returned from suspension to play in central defense. Lahoud is listed as doubtful on the club’s injury report.