Crew coach Robert Warzycha said the objective was met in Saturday’s 2-2 tie vs. Sporting Kansas City in Phoenix.
The first preseason match was divided into three 30-minute segments, but the Crew used a pair of lineups for 45 minutes each.
“Whenever you play, you want to have some quality,” Warzycha said. “It doesn’t matter how tired you are. We accomplished what was in our plan today. The first group possessed the ball very well. We played very good soccer.”
Brazilian center back trialist Alex Fraga had in impressive debut. With the Crew down 1-0 after SKC’s Jack Jewsbury’s goal, Fraga tucked away a corner kick from Eddie Gaven in the 21st minute to even things up.
Former Crew Kei Kamara put Sporting KC back in the lead in the second session, but Robbie Rogers converted a penalty kick in the 83rd minute for the equalizer.
Rookie Bernardo Anor from South Florida drew the PK with a run off a cross by Rogers.
“We are still trying to get fit,” Warzycha said. “The guys played 45 minutes [each] and ran afterwards, so we need to be fitter.”
While goalkeeper William Hesmer and backup Andy Gruenebaum recover from injuries, Warzycha started Caleb Patterson-Sewell and former Ohio State standout Ray Burse Jr. finished the match.
Warzycha’s son, Konrad, is a rookie midfielder for SKC and featured in their second-period lineup.
“He did very good,” the elder Warzycha said.
The Crew next face the Vancouver Whitecaps on Tuesday in Phoenix.
SKC -- Jack Jewsbury -- 1st session
CLB -- Alex Fraga -- 1st session
SKC -- Kei Kamara (Teal Bunbury) -- 2nd session
CLB -- Robbie Rogers (penalty kick) -- 3rd session
Opening 45 minutes: GK - Caleb Patterson-Sewell; D - Sebastian Miranda, Alex Fraga, Chad Marshall, Shaun Francis; MF - Eddie Gaven, Dejan Rusmir, Emmanuel Ekpo, Dilly Duka; F - Jeff Cunningham, Justin Meram.
Second 45 minutes: GK - Ray Burse; D - Rich Balchan, Kwaku Nyamekye, Andy Iro, Josh Gardner; MF - Leandre Griffit, Kevin Burns, Prim (Cole Grossman, 71’), Robbie Rogers; F - Emilio Renteria, Bernardo Anor.