COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Columbus Crew returned to Columbus on Monday, February 14, after a 12-day stay in Florida. The Florida trip was the first-leg of Spring Training as the team continues to prepare for the 2005 season. Here is an update from Crewville as far as what's going on in camp as well as other news and notes.OVER $25,000 RAISED AT THE TOM FITZGERALD MEMORIAL SOCCER FESTIVAL, BRINGING TOTAL RAISED FOR SCHOLARSHIP FUND TO MORE THAN $38,000
The University of Tampa announced that over $25,000 was raised on Sunday, February 13, at the Tom Fitzgerald Memorial Soccer Festival. All proceeds from the festival and auction will help fund the Tom Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship named after the UT soccer coach and former Crew head coach who died in December from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. The day's events, which drew over 1,500 people, were held on the campus of the University of Tampa and included a Youth Soccer and Goalkeeper Clinic, a Coaching Symposium, the U.S. U-17 National Team vs. D.C. United and The Crew vs. Real Salt Lake. To date, over $38,000 has been raised for the scholarship fund. FITZGERALD MEMORIAL AUCTION ENDS FRIDAY
The on-line auction that is being conducted to raise money for the Tom Fitzgerald Scholarship Fund started on Sunday, February 13, and will conclude on Friday, February 18. The auction is part of the Tom Fitzgerald Memorial Soccer Festival that was held on Sunday in Tampa, Fla. The bidding section is being done on eBay and is available through TheCrew.com. Minimum bids for each item will be listed on-line. Details on how to bid and pay are available in the bidding section on-line. Donations to the Tom Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship Fund can be mailed to: Tom Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship Fund, University of Tampa, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Box I, Tampa, FL 33606. COMPLETE 2005 CREW SCHEDULE IS AVAILABLE, FULL MLS SCHEDULE ALSO AVAILABLE
The Columbus Crew announced its 2005 season schedule on Monday, February 14. For the complete Crew schedule log-on to The Crew's official website at www.thecrew.com. Major League Soccer also announced the complete 2005 composite schedule which can be found at www.mlsnet.com. CREW SITS AT 3-2-1 AFTER FIRST LEG OF PRESEASON CAMP
The Crew lost, 2-0, to Real Salt Lake as part of the Tom Fitzgerald Memorial Soccer Festival at the University of Tampa on Sunday, February 13. It was the sixth and final game for The Crew in Florida as part of its first-leg of training camp. The Crew finished at 3-2-1 in exhibitions in Florida, beating the MetroStars (1-0), South Florida (1-0) and Central Florida (3-1), tying the U-17 National Team (1-1), and losing to D.C. (1-0) and Real Salt Lake. CREW TO TRAIN IN COLUMBUS UNTIL FEB. 24 BEFORE DEPARTING FOR SPAIN
The Crew will begin training again tomorrow (Wednesday, February 16) in Columbus, and will remain in town until departing for La Manga, Spain on February 25. Only the veterans are currently in Columbus, with the majority of the draft picks reporting to Columbus on February 20 and then traveling with the team to Spain. The training schedule for the team while they are in Columbus is below. Weather permitting, the team will train outside at Capital. Media should call to verify where the team is and the schedule is subject to change. CREW TO BEGIN U.S. OPEN CUP IN ROUND OF 16 ON AUGUST 3
A total of 42 teams - 26 professional and 16 amateur - will compete in the 2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as it kicks off in June. After 40 teams participated in the prestigious tournament in 2004, two expansion Major League Soccer teams have been added to the fray in 2005, bringing the total number of teams to its highest level since MLS began participating in the event in 1996. The U.S. Open Cup, which is recognized as U.S. Soccer's National Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. Qualifying is slated to be completed by May 30, with the pairings announcement expected on June 1. The Crew will enter the tournament on Aug. 3 in the fourth round (Round of 16). The quarterfinals will be played Aug. 24, the Semifinals on Sept. 14, with the final being played on Sept. 28. SEASON AND HOME OPENER SET FOR APRIL 2 VS. LOS ANGELES AT 7:30 P.M.
The Crew will kick off year No. 10 of Major League Soccer on April 2 at Columbus Crew Stadium, when the Black & Gold face the Los Angeles Galaxy at 7:30 p.m. Currently the only way to attend the home opener is to purchase Crew season tickets by calling 614-447-CREW. Single-game tickets will go on sale at a later date.