What's up in Crewville this week?

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Columbus Crew is currently in Bradenton, Fla. for Spring Training as the team continues to prepare for the 2005 season. Here is an update from Crewville as far as what's going on in camp as well as other news and notes.

ANDRULIS HEADS TO PANAMA TODAY

Crew Head Coach Greg Andrulis will head to Panama City today to scout tonight's CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier between host Panama and Guatemala. The Crew has Discovery options available and only one senior international player (Duncan Oughton) on its roster.

CREW DEFEATS SOUTH FLORIDA, IS 2-1-1 IN PRESEASON EXHIBITIONS

The Crew defeated the University of South Florida yesterday, 1-0, in an exhibition at the IMG Academies. Rookie forward Knox Cameron scored The Crew goal in the 21st minute, assisted by fellow rookie Domenic Mediate. The Crew's next exhibition is on Friday, Feb. 11, at 11 a.m. vs. the MetroStars at IMG. The Crew is 2-1-1 in exhibitions, beating Central Florida (3-1), tying the U-17 National Team (1-1) and losing to D.C. (1-0).

CREW WAIVES ERIC DENTON

Columbus Crew General Manager Mark McCullers and Crew Head Coach Greg Andrulis announced today that the team has waived defender/midfielder Eric Denton.

Denton was with Columbus for the past three years and appeared in 67 games, starting 63. He tallied three goals and seven assists for 13 points. He also appeared in five playoff games, all starts. The five-year MLS veteran saw action in 18 games in 2004, starting 16, and notched two assists.

The Crew now has 16 players on its senior roster, two under the maximum 18.

VIEWING PARTY FOR U.S. vs. TRINIDAD QUALIFIER IS TODAY IN THE HUNTINGTON CLUB

The Crew will host the first of three viewing parties today in Crew Stadium's Huntington Club for the U.S. Men's National Team World Cup Qualifiers.

The U.S. opens final-round qualifying today (Wednesday, February 9) at 2:30 p.m. (ET) when the U.S. takes on Trinidad & Tobago in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The game will be shown live on ESPN2 and admission to the viewing party is free.

After Trinidad, the U.S. faces a double-dose of qualifiers at the end of March. Following a trip to Mexico on March 27, the USA will open its home schedule of final round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday, March 30, at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. Kickoff against Guatemala is set for 8 p.m. (ET), and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2.

The match against Trinidad & Tobago is the first of 10 games in the final round of qualifying from Feb. 9 - Oct. 13, 2005. The USA, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago are competing for three automatic berths to the World Cup finals in Germany. The fourth-place finisher will face the fifth-place team from the Asian Football Confederation in a home-and-home series to determine the last entrant into the tournament.

HEJDUK WITH U.S. TEAM IN TRINIDAD

Crew midfielder/defender Frankie Hejduk is the only Crew player on the 23-man roster that the U.S. took to Trinidad for today's game. The U.S. veteran has 61 caps for the National Team and five goals.

TWO NON-ROSTER, NON-DRAFTED PLAYERS STILL IN CAMP

The Crew currently has two non-roster, non-drafted players in preseason camp. Midfielder Ricky Charles from Grenada and defender Mark Shulte are both still in camp with the team. Shulte, 27, played at the University of Dayton and is from Brecksville, Ohio.

FIVE OF EIGHT DRAFTEES IN CAMP

The Crew has five of its eight draftees in camp, with the remaining three joining the team after returning home from Florida on Feb. 14. The five players currently in camp are Marcus Storey, Domenic Mediate, Knox Cameron, Bill Gaudette and Eric Vasquez. Matt Oliver, Ryan Kelly and Chris Lee will join at a later date.

TOM FITZGERALD MEMORIAL SOCCER FESTIVAL SET FOR SUNDAY, D.C. ADDED TO EVENT

The Columbus Crew, Real Salt Lake, The University of Tampa and now D.C. United will participate in the Tom Fitzgerald Memorial Soccer Festival on Sunday, February 13, in Tampa, Fla. D.C. was just recently added and will take on the U-17's at 4 p.m.

The day's events will be held on the campus of the University of Tampa and will feature The Crew taking on Real Salt Lake at 6 p.m. at Pepin Stadium. The day will also include a Youth Soccer and Goalkeeper Clinic (11 a.m.-2 p.m.), a Coaching Symposium (2-3 p.m.), and the U.S. U-17 National Team-D.C. United game (4 p.m.). The Crew-RSL game can also be heard on-line at TheCrew.com and RealSaltLake.com, with the "Voice of The Crew," Dwight Burgess, calling the action. An online auction will also be held with details to be announced later this week.

All proceeds from the Festival will help fund the Tom Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship named after the UT soccer coach and former Crew head coach who died in December from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident.

The cost of admission for adults 18 and older is $12, $7 for kids 12-17, and $5 for children under 12. Tickets can be purchased by calling 813-253-6240 ext. 3100. Donations to the Tom Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship Fund can be mailed to: Tom Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship Fund, University of Tampa, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Box I, Tampa, FL 33606.

CREW TO BEGIN U.S. OPEN CUP IN ROUND OF 16 ON AUGUST 3

A total of 42 teams - 26 professional and 16 amateur - will compete in the 2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as it kicks off in June. After 40 teams participated in the prestigious tournament in 2004, two expansion Major League Soccer teams have been added to the fray in 2005, bringing the total number of teams to its highest level since MLS began participating in the event in 1996.

The 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.

Qualifying is slated to be completed by May 30, with the pairings announcement expected on June 1. The Crew will enter the tournament on Aug. 3 in the fourth round (Round of 16). The quarterfinals will be played Aug. 24, the Semifinals on Sept. 14, with the final being played on Sept. 28.

SEASON AND HOME OPENER SET FOR APRIL 2 VS. LOS ANGELES AT 7:30 P.M.

The Crew will kick off year No. 10 of Major League Soccer on April 2 at Columbus Crew Stadium, when the Black & Gold face the Los Angeles Galaxy at 7:30 p.m. Currently the only way to attend the home opener is to purchase Crew season tickets by calling 614-447-CREW. Single-game tickets will go on sale at a later date.

BIRTHDAYS FROM CREW HEADQUARTERS

The Crew would like send out birthday wishes to its employees who have February birthdays. Happy birthday to Anne Anderson, Shayla Collins, Mike Luttrell and Eric Olsavsky.


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