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 for

The trip out west was fun. It's always fun to go to L.A. A bunch of us went out to the promenade and walked around some shops. Some guys hit the adidas store and cleaned it out. We Nike boys had to stay away from it because we can't wear any of that gear. I guess if you really want to go through the effort of altering the gear, you can go through it, but as a Nike boy, I stick to what works.

The Home Depot Center is a great venue; the stadium was just really loud. Every time we go there, it's a great atmosphere for soccer. Right off the bat, I thought we were doing pretty well. You know, the chances were going both ways, and we had a couple of chances early. Jeff [Cunningham] got through the box and dropped one to me that I missed wide, and Jeff had another chance to score. Edson [Buddle] had a chance to score in the first half, too. We just got a little unlucky with the PK call in the second half. We thought it was definitely questionable, and that changed a lot of the flow of the game.

Of course, running into Kevin Hartman on a good night didn't help. When you play against a good 'keeper like him, you need to make sure that when you get chances on net, you make them good. You know that you're not going to have their 'keeper let up a soft goal, so the quality chances you get, you need to make sure you get them on frame and get them with some pace into the corners. Kevin Hartman had a great game, and he definitely stopped some shots that we thought we were going to level the score with. It's just tough. I think they played a great game and they've got a good team.

The loss in L.A. leaves us winless on the season, but I don't think we're that worried at all. Every single season, every team has a slump, and I'm sure if you looked at every team last year, they lost three games in a row. It's not something you need to worry about. It's just kind of a wake-up. Obviously, we would have liked to start the season with some wins and start with a little more confidence, but of the games that we've had so far, New York is the only one where we thought we performed poorly. The other two games, we were getting better and starting to get things clicking. Obviously, with a new team it's tough to do that, but when it comes down to October, this team's going to be playing very well and winning every game.

We had a little tennis match planned for Monday, but it got cancelled because some of the guys had other stuff to do, so I went out to Schiller Park down in German Village in Columbus and threw the Frisbee with my dog for a little bit.

Columbus might not strike some people as a happening town, but there are things to do, and we find them. Sometimes, we go to Kooma for some sushi. That's always a good spot to hit up. We've got a solid six or seven guys who go to the Kooma restaurant downtown and just absolutely grub. It's the most unbelievable sushi. A lot of the time, though, the guys will get together and come over to my place. I've got a back patio, and we put on some music and I bring the guitar out and play a little bit. We put some brats on the grill and just have a good time.

-- Kyle