Kyle Martino's Crew cut

Crew midfielder Kyle Martino was the 2002 MLS Rookie of the Year and has also played for the U.S. men's national team. Each week during the 2004 MLS season, Kyle will detail the week past, giving insight into the life of a professional soccer player.

We feel great about getting the win, just because it changes the complexion of the season so far, with all of the criticism of us and all of the talk about us being at the bottom of the league. That really can't be talked about anymore because now we're in the middle of the pack and things are a lot different.

Obviously, getting a win in Chicago against a great team is something to really be psyched about, and it's a great accomplishment. Getting my first goal of the season was great, too, because that kind of takes the pressure off. There has been a lot of criticism lately about our attacking players and how few points we've had. It's good to get the first one so things can get rolling now.

On the play, I was just running through expecting that Michael Ritch would play a 1-2, and I got a lucky break that it came out right in front of me. What I really wanted to concentrate on was finishing the opportunity that I got.

The penalty kick in the first half helped us out a lot in terms of our confidence. We knew that we weren't stringing together some good play, and we knew we weren't playing the best that we could, but at least we were still in the game and we hadn't let up a goal. So, things were going pretty good and then Jeff Cunningham, with a great individual effort, got in behind and got us a PK. On the road, those things are major. They make or break a game for you. It's those individual plays that change the way the game is flowing. After that goal, everyone was ready to rock.

We've got a big test this weekend against the San Jose Earthquakes. But, while they've got good attacking players, our defense has been outstanding. All of our defensive players have really started to understand each other and they are really playing very well, and Jon Busch has been blanking every forward that tries to come at him. Hopefully, we can also get some of the attacking play and service from the wings that we had against New England and take San Jose down.

After Sunday's game, we went out in Chicago to this nice little hole-in-the-wall bar called Stanley's. It was absolutely packed. I looked out of the corner of my eye and saw John Cusack and Greg Maddux chilling at the bar, too. Cusack is my girfriend's favorite movie star, so she went up and embarrassed him and made him take a picture with her.
I guess Stanley's is the spot to go because it has live-band karaoke. A bunch of the guys got up and sang some tunes, and it probably sounded a lot worse than we thought it did. I got up there and sang Jane's Addiction's Jane Says, and I was looking for a record deal after I was done, but there were some people who were cleaning their ears out hoping they wouldn't hear something that awful again.

Either way, it was a great time to get out with the guys.

--Kyle


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