Weekly update: Unbeaten in Cyprus

The Columbus Crew remained unbeaten on its trip to Cyprus after downing Russian club Mordovia, 3-0, earlier today. The Crew is 2-0-1 on its trip, also defeating Dynamo Kiev (Ukraine), 3-1, and tying Zaglebie (Poland), 1-1.

Against Mordovia, rookie Ivan Becerra tallied two goals and Jamal Sutton had the third. Rookie midfielder Dayton O'Brien had two assists and rookie defender Jed Zayner one. In the tie vs. Zaglebie, Chad Marshall scored on assists from Marcos Gonzalez and Kyle Martino.

The Crew is based in the city of Ayia Napa and will wrap up its trip with a game on Wednesday, March 1, vs. ENP (Cyprus) and a tentative match on Thursday, March 2, vs. Panas (Armenia), before departing for Columbus on Friday, March 3.

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 and 614-447-CREW.

All times listed are local Cyprus time.

1: 10 am train; 3 pm Game vs. ENP (Cyprus)
2: 10 am train; Possible game vs. Panas (Armenia) - tentative
3: Depart for Columbus

Preseason record: 5-2-2

Feb. 10: Vs. MetroStars at IMG (lost 2-0)
Feb. 10: Vs. USASA Amateur Select Team at IMG (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 at IMG (tie 0-0)
Feb. 15: Vs. University of South Florida (won 5-2)
Feb. 16: Vs. Chicago at IMG (lost 3-1)
Feb. 25: Vs. Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine (won 3-1)
Feb. 27: Vs. Zaglebie, Poland (tie 1-1)
Feb. 28: Vs. Mordovia, Russia (won 3-0)

Zaglebie: Jon Busch (Bill Gaudette, 70), Frankie Hejduk (Tim Ward, 45), Chad Marshall (Joel Kitamarike, 45), Marcos Gonzalez (Rusty Pierce, 45), Ritchie Kotschau (Jed Zayner, 45), Eric Vasquez (Brandon Moss, 45), Leonard Bisaku (Dayton O'Brien, 45), Sebastian Rozental (Ricardo Virtuoso, 45), Kyle Martino (Jamal Sutton, 45), Knox Cameron (John Wolyniec, 45), Edson Buddle (Ivan Becerra)

Mordovia: Bill Gaudette, Tim Ward, Joel Kitamarike, Rusty Pierce (Ritchie Kotschau, 75), Jed Zayner, Leonard Bisaku (Brandon Moss, 60), Danny Szetela (Jose Retiz, 75), Ricardo Virtuoso (Eric Vasquez, 75), John Wolyniec (Knox Cameron, 75), Ivan Becerra (Jamal Sutton, 75)

More than 5,000 goals have been scored in the 10-year history of MLS, and former Crew star Brian McBride and current Crew forward John Wolyniec have two of the five nominees remaining for the Sierra Mist Goal of the Decade.

The final round of voting is underway on The Crew's and the League's official Web sites at and, with fans deciding the winner. Fans have until March 6 to vote for their favorite goal among the five finalists.

The competition began February 7 with a field of nominees consisting of three Goal of the Year finalists from each season in the first decade of Major League Soccer. Among those 30 goals were 12 stunning volleys, six bicycle kicks, five free kicks, four dribble runs, and one directly off a corner kick. All of those finalists were selected through fan voting. Thus, fans can begin influencing the next Goal of the Decade competition by participating in the Sierra Mist Goal of the Week voting, which begins after the 2006 MLS season kicks off on April 1.

The five remaining nominees are:

1996 - Brian McBride, Columbus Crew

Tracking down an 85-yard punt from his goalkeeper, Bo Oshoniyi, McBride flicks the ball with his head - to himself - as he rounds a defender and volleys inside the far-post.

2003 - Carlos Ruiz, Los Angeles Galaxy

Cobi Jones swoops in and crosses the ball back to Ruiz, who uses a well-placed bicycle kick to score in style.

2003 - John Wolyniec, MetroStars

Sprinting beneath a long free kick from midfield by Amado Guevara, Wolyniec stretches to connect on a game-winning volley to the far post against his current team The Crew.

2005 - Carlos Ruiz, FC Dallas

Ruiz finishes Roberto Mina's delicate chip pass with a bicycle kick that wrong-foots the United goalkeeper.

2005 - Dewayne De Rosario, San Jose Earthquakes

De Rosario's free kick seems to defy physics as it bends around the L.A. wall and into the upper near corner of the net.

The Crew announced today that the club 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.

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