Playoffs Scoreboard

Recap
Leg 1
11/23 5:00pm
LA
SEA
ESPN
Recap
Leg 2
11/30 9:00pm
SEA
LA
ESPN
Western Conference Championship
Recap
Leg 1
LIVE 2nd
1NY
1NE
NBC
Recap
Leg 2
11/29 3:00pm
NE
NY
NBCSN
Eastern Conference Championship

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 were definitely glad to come out of Saturday's game against New England with a point, just because we had a bad start. We felt like we came out flat. To get a point when you're down 1-0 is definitely a positive, but after seeing the results of the other teams in the conference, we were disappointed that we didn't get three points and go ahead in the standings.

I was lucky enough to score the tying goal against the Revolution. On the play, Jeff Cunningham made a great withdrawn run and he got turned. He was really deep so I saw that he was either going to have to lay it off or turn and try to get something started. So, I just started to take off and tried to make a solid run forward, and Jeff put an amazing ball - splitting the defense - through to me. I tried to just take a touch and get through the last two defenders, and one of them was tracking me closely, so I tried to slip a ball far post. Luckily, it caught the 'keeper off-guard. I saw that Edson Buddle was making a great run through the middle, so if the goalie made the save or it was going wide, Edson was going to be right there to tap it in. I was just hoping that I got enough on it to get it to that area.

We start off this week with the U.S. Open Cup round-of-16 against the Chicago Fire. We definitely realize that it's going to be physically demanding, and it has been a tough haul lately. We're going to try to do our best. We want to do well in the U.S. Open Cup because last year we didn't go as far as we wanted, and the year before, we won it. And it being Lamar Hunt's cup, it hits a little closer to home for us, so we want a good performance. We definitely feel the responsibility to perform well, and to make sure that we get far and honor the cup, since Lamar is such a big reason why we have what we have in Columbus. It's something that we take seriously, and hopefully we can get back to getting into the finals and winning it.

After the Open Cup game, we travel to Denver to play the Colorado Rapids. They have a strong defense. Going into Colorado is tough because of the altitude and the environment. There's a large field, and the altitude makes it difficult to get through the game and be intense and run around. So, it's going to be tough, and we're going to have to deal with that. I think they might be missing Pablo Mastroeni, which is going to be a positive for us. Whoever replaces him, we're going to try to go after them and go at their defense right away and try to score an early goal. When it comes down to it, we just need to make sure that we're ready for the game and we put on a good performance regardless of all of the little things against us.

In other soccer news, the league expanded to Salt Lake City last week. I think any expansion in the league is exciting. Obviously, the investors wouldn't put the money forth if they didn't think they had a great area and a good place for a team. I think we're all looking forward to the opportunity to have a new look and a new place to go and play. I've never been to Salt Lake City, so I'm excited, after the team gets set up, to have a chance to go.

Not much is going on with me outside of soccer. I'm getting ready to build a detached garage at the back of my house, so I have a huge mud pit in the backyard, which is a lot of fun. Also, Duncan Oughton, Chris Wingert and I are on our way to go see "Napoleon Dynamite". If you haven't heard about that, it's supposed to be hysterical.


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