For the second time this season, the Columbus Crew held the Los Angeles Galaxy scoreless, coming away from The Home Depot Center with a scoreless draw on Wednesday night.
While it was a pleasant result for the Crew rearguard though, the long-term effects could be more damaging, as goalkeeper Jon Busch was lost at halftime to a strained right knee suffered in the waning moments of the first half.
Robin Fraser ran into Edson Buddle before a cross was put into the box and fell on the back of Busch's leg. Play was stopped for a few minutes but Busch finished out the half. Busch will be examined once the team returns to Columbus.
Columbus had five first-half shots but entertained no chances inside the penalty area, save for Chad Marshall's 40th-minute, near-post header off of Simon Elliott's curling corner kick -- the Crew's first corner -- that was brushed away by Hartman at the foot of the left goal post.
Henderson almost made an instant impact three minutes in as the Crew swung the ball from right to left with Henderson receving Chris Wingert's ball on the left side of the area, but his first touch for Martino into the middle was not squared and rolled to Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
The Galaxy, which only looked dangerous in two spurts in the first half, didn't register its first shot on frame until the 19th minute when Busch easily picked up Paulo Nagamura's 35-yard shot from straight away.
A minute later, Cobi Jones volleyed Todd Dunivant's cross from the left end line well high from 11 yards. Dunivant also set up Pando Ramirez in the 22nd minute with a deft chip with the outside of his boot atop the area and over the Crew backline, but Ramirez could not settle comfortably and vaulted his try a few yards over the bar.
Before withdrawing to his injury, Busch remained in his tracks to make two saves in the 36th minute. He stopped Ramirez's header near the penalty spot from Kirovski's right-side chip and controlling Chris Albright's opportunistic effort after Columbus could not clear the ball out on touches by three different defenders.
The second half was as devoid of flair as the Crew understandably played behind the ball and were cautious in going forward. Bill Gaudette made his MLS debut in goal for Busch and recorded his first save in the 52nd minute in going to ground at the right post to corral Kirovski's rolling effort from just inside the top of the area.
In the 77th minute, Gaudette was well-positioned to deal with Kirovski's 14-yard shot, off a feed from substitute Joseph Ngwenya, that flew awry of the top right corner.
The Crew's only shot in the second half fell to Henderson in the 84th minute as he received Buddle's cutback pass from the left end line slightly behind him and didn't handle the ball cleanly in first-timing a low left-footed shot that Hartman went to ground to stop.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Bill Gaudette (Columbus Crew)
Damian Secore is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
Columbus Crew (3-5-0) vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (5-2-0)
May 25, 2005 -- The Home Depot Center
Scoring Summary: NONE
Columbus Crew -- Jon Busch (Bill Gaudette 46), Frankie Hejduk, Robin Fraser, Chad Marshall, Chris Wingert, Chris Henderson, Simon Elliott, Mario Rodriguez, Stephen Herdsman, Edson Buddle (Knox Cameron 89), Kyle Martino (Danny Szetela 76).
Substitutes Not Used: Ryan Kelly, Domenic Mediate.
TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Edson Buddle 2, Chris Henderson 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Chris Henderson 2); FOULS: 12 (Chris Wingert 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Mario Rodriguez 1, Chris Henderson 1); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Simon Elliott 2); SAVES: 5 (Jon Busch 3)
Los Angeles Galaxy -- Kevin Hartman, Chris Albright (Benjamin Benditson 69), Pablo Chinchilla, Tyrone Marshall, Todd Dunivant, Cobi Jones (Mubarike Chisoni 57), Paulo Nagamura, Peter Vagenas, Guillermo Ramirez (Joseph Ngwenya 64), Jovan Kirovski, Ednaldo da Conceicao.
Substitutes Not Used: Paul Broome, Steve Cronin, Herculez Gomez, Guillermo Gonzalez, Ned Grabavoy, Troy Roberts.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Guillermo Ramirez 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Jovan Kirovski 2); FOULS: 15 (Todd Dunivant 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Ednaldo da Conceicao 1); CORNER KICKS: 1 (Jovan Kirovski 1); SAVES: 4 (Kevin Hartman 4)
CLB -- Robin Fraser (caution; Reckless Foul) 10
CLB -- Frankie Hejduk (caution; Reckless Foul) 18
LA -- Chris Albright (caution; Dissent) 38
CLB -- Mario Rodriguez (caution; Reckless Foul) 58
Referee: Ramon Hernandez
Referee's Assistants: Emiliano Monje; Carey E. Rockwell
4th Official: Colin Arblaster
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.