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Weekly update: Only days remain

The Columbus Crew continues preseason camp in California as the 2006 season opener on Saturday, April 1, is just 16 days away.

The Crew traveled to Lafayette, La., on Saturday, March 11, where it played Real Salt Lake to a 1-1 tie and then arrived in Southern California on March 12. The Black & Gold will play three games in California through March 24, including Wednesday's 0-0 tie at UC Santa Barbara. The second match is scheduled for Friday (March 17) at UC Irvine and the finale pits The Crew vs. Chivas USA on Wednesday, March 22. Columbus is 6-3-4 in preseason matches.

The Crew will open the 2006 MLS season with consecutive road games, starting with the season opener against the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday, April 1, at 8:30 p.m. (ET) at Arrowhead Stadium. The Black & Gold will then head to Colorado to take on the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, April 8, at 9:30 p.m. (ET) at Invesco Field at Mile High.

Columbus opens it home schedule vs. Eastern Conference rival the Chicago Fire on Saturday, April 15, at 4 p.m. (ET) at Columbus Crew Stadium in a nationally televised game on ESPN2.

Fans can become Crew Soccer Nation members by purchasing full-season ticket packages or partial plans, starting as low as $30 for the new Crew 3-Packs. Group tickets are available for all 16 home games, as well as a "Put out the Fire" Home Opener Pack for just $60, which includes four midfield tickets. All ticket packages or plans are available through TheCrew.com and 614-447-CREW.

THE CREW TRADES RIGHTS TO DOMINC MEDIATE TO D.C. UNITED FOR UNITED'S NATURAL FOURTH ROUND PICK IN THE 2007 SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT
The Crew traded the rights to Domenic Mediate to D.C. United for D.C.'s natural fourth-round pick in the 2007 Supplemental Draft. With The Crew in 2005, Mediate appeared in 11 games, starting four, and tallied one goal and one assist.

VOTE FOR COLUMBUS MONTHLY'S "BEST OF COLUMBUS 2006" AT COLUMBUSMONTHLY.COM
Crew fans can vote for their favorite Crew player on-line at ColumbusMonthly.com in the magazine's annual Best of Columbus 2006 awards. The Best of Columbus is the best in shopping, sports, media, restaurants, entertainment and more. Results will be published in Best of Columbus 2006 in the July issue of Columbus Monthly. Three ballot authors each will receive a $100 gift certificate from one of the restaurants voted best by the readers of this poll. Internet balloting will close at 5 p.m. on April 28. Only one ballot per person will be accepted, submitted either via the web or by printed form. (If mailing, send to Best of Columbus, P.O. Box 29913, Columbus, Ohio 43229-7513.) Your name and a daytime phone number must be provided for verification and to contact drawing winners.

CREW SCHEDULE (All times listed are local time)
March
17: 7 p.m. Crew at UC Irvine
18: OFF
19: OFF
20: 10 a.m. train; 4 p.m. train
21: 10 a.m. train
22: 7 p.m. Crew vs. Chivas USA in San Diego
23: 10 a.m. train
24: Depart for Columbus

CREW PRESEASON RESULTS (preseason record 6-3-4)
Feb. 10: Vs. New York Red Bulls (lost 2-0)
Feb. 10: Vs. USASA Amateur Select Team (won 3-1)
Feb. 12: Vs. Real Salt Lake, Tom Fitzgerald Memorial Soccer Festival at University of Tampa (won 1-0)
Feb. 14: Vs. Kansas City Wizards (tied 0-0)
Feb. 15: Vs. University of South Florida (won 5-2)
Feb. 16: Vs. Chicago Fire (lost 3-1)
Feb. 25: Vs. Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine (won 3-1)
Feb. 27: Vs. Zaglebie, Poland (tied 1-1)
Feb. 28: Vs. Mordovia, Russia (won 3-0)
March 1: Vs. ENP, Cyprus (lost 1-0)
March 2: Vs. Panas, Armenia (won 2-1)
March 11: Vs. Real Salt Lake (tied 1-1)
March 15: Vs. UC Santa Barbara (tied 0-0)

CREW TO HOLD OPEN TRYOUTS ON SATURDAY, MARCH 25, AT OBETZ
The Crew will hold open tryouts for the fourth straight year, on Saturday, March 25, at the Crew Training Center at Obetz (4153 Alum Creek Dr).

The tryout will last all day, with registration beginning at 7 a.m. and the evening session ending at 6 p.m. Members of the Crew coaching staff will be in attendance throughout the day to assess and evaluate the entire player pool. As part of that evaluation process, the coaching staff will reserve the right to dismiss candidates at any time throughout the day. College players will not be eligible to participate in the tryout due to NCAA regulations. There is no pre-registration, and players should show up the day of the tryout.

All tryout participants will receive an official numbered tryout shirt that is theirs to keep. There will be a $50 administrative fee per player, which must be paid in cash or check prior to the first training session. All proceeds from participation in the Crew open tryouts will go to the Crew Soccer Foundation.

Individuals wishing to try out are solely responsible for any and all accommodations and transportation they deem necessary. They are also responsible for their own training gear, and must also bring their own ball.

For further information, interested players are encouraged to call Mike Lapper, Crew Assistant Coach and Director of Soccer Business Development, at 614-447-4141. Times are subject to change for weather or administrative reasons.